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Higher Ed in the News

Should states cut colleges or prisons?

June 28, 2010

State spending on prisons has been growing and eating away at other priorities, like higher education.

Most states have a commission or committee looking for ways to reduce their budgets, and there’s not much maneuvering room, partly because of rising corrections and health-care costs.

Most states spend most of their money on K–12 education, but that’s also the least popular place to cut. As a result, higher education is the budget item that ends up being particularly vulnerable.

In California today, almost 11 percent of the general fund goes to prisons and only 7.5 percent goes to higher education.

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