Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Apparently talk of LSU layoffs is getting some people's attention.

What's the reason for the cuts? It's simple -- and simple-minded: tax cuts have gutted the budget in a time of recession.

Education, health care get soaked in Jindal's cuts

Here's more opinion. An open letter to Governor Jindal in the Shreveport Times.
Clearly, there also are some opportunities that need your focused attention. You said we would have 21st-century schools and colleges. What we see are colleges dying due to neglect and sending the best and brightest out of state for educational opportunities. During the interview process (campaign), you mentioned consolidation and specialization strategies to let our universities be centers of excellence in meeting their stated master plan objectives. This will not be achieved without bold leadership. The politics of the past without listening to the educators will kill the patient before treatment begins. Where is your focus?

Cuts will reduce LSU to mediocrity

Jindal cuts threaten education

Education cuts are the result of bad choices

This editorial from the Monroe News Star suggests a solution, one which we have long known about, but which few have the couragepush very far.

Why shouldn't higher education, an economic engine for Louisiana, enjoy at least an equal footing with other areas of state government during lean budget years?

Gov. Bobby Jindal, who ordered the midyear cuts to bring the state budget into balance, said he would support bills in the 2010 legislative session to direct dedicated revenues to higher education during lean times. That would mean other areas of state spending would pay, not a happy solution but a necessary one.

If it takes a constitutional amendment to protect higher education, well, the governor, a one-time ULS president, ought to demand that. The Legislature should provide the needed bills. That should be a top priority for the administration and lawmakers.Constitutional amendments involve a long process, but, goodness knows, our amendment-packed Louisiana Constitution has been altered aplenty over the last three decades. Jindal, who still packs substantial clout by virtue of his powerful office and statewide popularity, should be able to make that happen.

Otherwise, we might hear more unhappy words like these uttered by Moffett, who talked about "a cumulative down slide" for the campuses:

"We're going to the edge of the cliff, and we're getting ready to go over the cliff."