Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Economics of higher education. Cuts will injure more than just the colleges. | News | Holden: College cuts would hurt BR — Baton Rouge, LA
Mayor-President Kip Holden warned that steep cuts to state funding for higher education being considered by the Legislature would have a devastating economic impact on Louisiana’s capital city.

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday in the Metro Council chambers, Holden said the university system plays a significant role in the area’s economy.

“When I read the details of what the budget cuts will mean to these institutions, it is obvious we are moving down a dangerous road that can lead to long-term consequences,” Holden said.

The mayor was flanked by the chancellors of LSU, Southern University and Baton Rouge Community College and a representative from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.

Each warned of layoffs and other dire consequences if $219 million in proposed cuts to higher education — about 15 percent of state funding for colleges — are made by the state.

“All three institutions in Baton Rouge are facing layoffs, which weakens consumer confidence and consumer spending and ultimately impacts our sales taxes,” Holden said. “It begins to take on a life of its own in negatively impacting a local economy, even one as strong as Baton Rouge.”

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