La. speaker: Higher education funding reform should be focus

Friday, July 19, 2013

One major goal for Louisiansa legislators over the next two years should be reforming how the state funds higher education, according to House Speaker Chuck Kleckley.

In recent years, state universities across the nation have faced major financial challenges, Kleckley said. At one time, Louisiana’s universities received 70 percent of its funding from the state’s general fund while the remaining 30 percent was generated by colleges through tuition and other sources.

“Now that number has completely flipped across the nation and in Louisiana,” Kleckley said Tuesday. “Seventy percent is self-generated, and the remaining 30 percent comes from the state’s coffers.”

Generating 70 percent of funding has become increasingly challenging for all universities as Louisiana’s university tuition remains the lowest in the South, Kleckley said. A 70 percent vote of the Legislature is needed for universities to increase tuition.

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