MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- A new report says Tennessee has made deeper cuts to its funding for public higher education than most states.
A new report out this week by the Washington D.C. based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says 48 of the 50 states have reduced their contributions to higher education in since the economic downturn began.
On average, states have reduced funding by about 28 percent since 2008. Phil Oliff of the Policy Center says Tennessee reduced its contribution to state universities by more than 30 percent over the same period.
“We’re living in a time when college attainment is increasingly important to the nation’s economic success, but tuition increases are really discouraging students from attending college; particularly students from low and moderate income families.”
Tuition at Tennesse’s public universities has increased steadily to cover the lost state funding. On average, college students in Tennessee are paying $1775 more per year than they were five years ago.
For the first time in several years, Governor Haslam has included an increase in his proposed state budget for higher education. Haslam is asking the Tennessee General Assembly for an increase of 6.7 percent for the coming fiscal year.