Oregon's Higher Education Funding Woes Continue Unabated
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
By Ramin Farahmandpur, Speakout | News Analysis
A crisis persists across the nation.
Public higher education funding in Oregon, as well as in other states, remains low. Dismayed university presidents reacted to Gov. Kate Brown's proposed 2017-19 budget for its flat fundingof the prior biennium's $667.3 million.
In their January letter to the governor, the presidents warned that unless the Legislature improves her budget by an additional $100 million, students will face tuition hikes. They wrote: "To keep tuition increases below 5 percent at most universities, and also preserve current financial aid and student support services, state investment in the Public University Support Fund (PUSF) will need to increase by at least $100 million above the Governor's Budget -- in the 2017-19 biennium."
The timing of their protest couldn't be worse. The state faces a $1.7 billion budget deficit next biennium. A 2016 ballot measure to raise new revenues might have closed the gap, but corporate opposition to the gross receipts tax proposal ensured its defeat at the polls.
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