Dear Commons Community,
Peter Orszag, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget from 2009 to 2010 and a distinguished visiting fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, has an excellent op-ed piece in today’s NY Times on state funding of public universities. He lays a large share of the decline in state support to rising Medicaid costs. He posits that there is a direct correlation between the rise of Medicaid costs and the decline in funding for public higher education:
“Governments’ general support for higher education 25 years ago was nearly 50 percent greater than state spending on Medicaid. That relationship has now flipped: Medicaid spending is about 50 percent greater than support for higher education. If higher education’s share of state budgets had remained constant instead of being crowded out by rising Medicaid costs, it would be getting some $30 billion more than it receives today, or more than $2,000 per student.”
He points to examples in Illinois, Washington, Georgia and Texas where reductions have caused significant increases in tuition and declines in state support. This piece should be of special interest to those of us in CUNY as we prepare for what likely will be 2-3 years of severe budget reductions (which we have been spared to a degree because of the gubernatorial election) but which will likely begin to be enacted right after November.
The full NY Times Op-Ed piece is available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/19/opinion/19orszag.html?th&emc=th