Legislature Concludes 2004 Regular Session — What is
May 25, 2004 -- The Alabama Legislature has
concluded its work on the 2004 Regular Session and the Higher Education
Partnership congratulates the leaders for passing the budgets. Finding sufficient dollars to pass the
General Fund and Education Trust Fund Budgets was significant. However, the limited amount of available
revenue means that the education budget only provides enough funding to allow
most of the state’s K–Ph.D. programs to maintain status quo.
With this in mind, the
Partnership encourages each and every Alabamian to ask the following questions:
- Is “maintaining status quo” in education going
to be good enough to allow the state to be competitive for the jobs of
- Will the people of Alabama accept “this is the best we can
do” as an explanation for why we continue to struggle with high university
tuition and low faculty salaries?
- Will Alabamians stand back and accept the idea
that it is satisfactory to have five percent fewer college graduates than
the national average?
The faculty, staff, students
and alumni represented by the Partnership respond to the previous questions
with an adamant NO. To understand the
reason that these are not acceptable positions, review the 2002 United States
Census Bureau report on this topic. The
census surveys show that Alabama’s
shortage of college graduates has a telling impact on the income level of the
population. According to the Census
Bureau, a person with a high school diploma can expect to earn $1.2 million
over the course of a career, while a person with a bachelor’s degree can expect
to earn $2.1 million. The fact is that
lower levels of state funding for education result in lower personal incomes.
Again, the Partnership
reiterates, Alabama Must Do Better!
For additional information
contact Gordon Stone at the Higher Education Partnership at 334-220-2161.
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