2013-03-28 / Community

Report: State education suffering due to cuts

LANSING – Michigan has cut investment in its public universities by 32 percent since 2008, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Michigan is one of just 18 states that cut investment in its universities by more than 30 percent since 2008, when adjusted for inflation – a decrease of $1,817 per student.

The average tuition at a public, four-year college in Michigan has increased by 19.5 percent since the start of the recession.

“We hear it over and over, especially from business leaders, that we need a well-educated workforce,” said Gilda Z. Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy. “Yet Michigan has disinvested in this area, making it harder for many young people to go to college. Obviously, we need to find a better approach to creating a thriving economy.”

Nationwide, states are spending 28 percent less per student on higher education than they did in 2008, after adjusting for inflation. As a result, tuition at fouryear public colleges has grown nationally by 27 percent since the 2007-08 school year. The price of attending a public college or university has grown significantly faster than the growth in median income in the U.S. over the last 20 years.

Michigan is last among the 47 states with corporate income taxes in per capita revenue generated from the corporate tax. By increasing the tax, more investment could be made in growing a highly skilled workforce.

“More jobs in the future will require college-educated workers,” said Phil Oliff, policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and author of the report.

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