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Legislature Concludes 2004 Regular Session — What is Next?

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 tomorrow?
  • 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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