Too much taken from MnSCU’s budget request

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 2, 2001

There’s always need to trim the fat when it comes to budget requests, but Gov.

Friday, February 02, 2001

There’s always need to trim the fat when it comes to budget requests, but Gov. Jesse Ventura’s slashing of MnSCU’s requested funds increase, as well as the decrease in funds for the University of Minnesota, will have dramatic effects throughout the state.

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Asking for $255.6 million, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities received just $47 million, about 18 percent of the original request.

Of those requested funds, Riverland Community College was hoping to get about $4 million – $2.1 million to maintain its current educational opportunities and $1.9 million for essential improvements in academic programs, technology and workforce development. They will get only $665,386.

Riverland, as well as other MnSCU institutions, have been a driving force behind the state’s robust economy by providing the programs needed to help with the labor shortage.

Eighty percent of those who graduate from a MnSCU institution stay right here in Minnesota, earning a good wage, paying taxes and spending their income here. So if the quality of educational opportunities decreases while tuition increases, it only stands to reason that Minnesota’s colleges and universities will be losing business.

That will also have an impact throughout the state in the form of less tax dollars and fewer dollars spent in the state as college students head out of Minnesota to get an education at schools with state-of-the-art equipment and labs.

It’s not likely Ventura will admit his oversight here. So we encourage all those who care about MnSCU, the U of M system and the entire economy of the state to write to state representatives and senators. Please let them know the future of the state depends on the quality of education.