Cutting higher education further will hurt state

An editorial from The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — As state lawmakers continue to haggle over how to close a sizable gap in the next fiscal year budget, we’re seeing more indications of what could happen if they opt to cut their way to a balanced budget. Those signals would not be positive for West Virginia.

One sign came last month. The Mountwest Community and Technical College Board of Governors, not knowing for certain how much state support it can expect in the budget year beginning July 1, voted to raise student tuition for the coming year by 5 percent. The board did so anticipating that state money for higher education will be reduced again. By state law, that 5 percent increase is the most allowed for the community and technical colleges.

Then on Wednesday, with the state budget still up in the air, Marshall University officials discussed possible scenarios they are considering as they try to figure out their own budget. Worst-case, if money for higher education is slashed sharply again, they anticipate having to raise tuition rates by 11 percent…

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