In fact, the 50 of you on average have slashed funding allocations for your public institutions by 7.6 percent. And that's for this year alone!
But the report from the Chronicle of Higher Education offers even more details.
Total state support for higher education declined 7.6 percent from the 2011 to the 2012 fiscal years, according to an annual report from the Grapevine Project, at Illinois State University, and the State Higher Education Executive Officers.
As a whole, state spending on higher education—after being supported by the recovery-act money for three budget years—is now nearly 4 percent lower than it was in the 2007 fiscal year. Twenty-nine states appropriated less for colleges this year than they did five years ago.
The current year's large decline was due in part to the expiration of about $40-billion in federal money given to the states to prop up spending on education. While a number of states are now seeing improvements in their economic forecasts, their economies had not recovered enough by July to allow officials to replace the lost federal dollars.
Factoring out the federal stimulus money, state support for colleges declined a little more than 4 percent from 2011 to 2012.
The overall decline is also a result of the big drop in higher-education spending in California, accounting for more than a quarter of the total decrease in state support.Yes, I have heard the arguments, and, yes, I recognize that many of your predecessors were in the chairs where you are now when irresponsible decisions were made. Likewise, ridiculous policies were followed. But I nevertheless remind you that by slicing education that you are setting up the potential for America's current generation to lack the information they need in order to be productive citizens down the road.