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Wide White: Cuts require sacrifice

Friday, March 14, 2008

Cuts require sacrifice

To think that you can bridge a $1 billion budget shortfall without making cuts is crazy.

Minnesota educators would like to think we can though.
Top officials, including University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks (BROO'-nihks), are pleading with state lawmakers to make shallower cuts than Governor Tim Pawlenty has proposed.

Pawlenty's plan for closing a nearly $1 billion budget gap slices state aid to public colleges by about $54 million.

Bruininks says the university fully expects to face some aid reductions. But he says it will be tough to absorb a $27 million cut without laying off workers, stifling new investment in research and technology or raising tuition.
We can argue all day where cuts should be made, but when you're talking $1 billion out of something like a $18 billion budget, everyone - including education - has to get cut, and the fact that the cuts in funding for public colleges is such a small percentage of the overall cuts is saying something for the universities.

So how are you going to cut education dollars and not lay off workers, cut back on research investment, etc.? You can't.

Unless, of course, you use an alternative.
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities executive Laura King also told a House panel that tuition increases would be a last resort, but could not be ruled out.
If budget cuts are made and spending isn't cut, you've got to raise the money somewhere. Raise taxes, raise tuition, or raise fees. We pay for the services we get...


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