The great façade

Politicians claim to support education, but it’s the first thing to get cut when budgets roll around

You’re always told that as long as you study and get good grades and go to college, you’ll get a good job and become successful.

What is often left out of the discussion is that most college students get to leave college with not only a degree, but with a miniature mortgage that starts six months after you graduate. It’s a great trade off, isn’t it?

But as much as you hear politicians talk about how we need to educate the youth of the country and create a smarter workforce, it’s often education that gets thrown on the cutting board when it comes to making cuts in spending.

So as Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is putting together the state budget for the next year, it comes as no surprise that funding for education is the first thing to go when it comes to trimming the budget.

Snyder proposes to make cuts in state spending on universities, which in turn is leading universities to look to tuition increases to make up for lost funding.

And of course we all know who gets the short end of the stick: the students.

In the proposed $45 billion budget that Snyder has unveiled, a 15 percent cut in appropriations to the 15 public universities in Michigan is part of the plan, including Ferris State.

Specifically looking at Ferris, the numbers equal out to a loss of nearly $10.6 million in funds according to a statement from the university.

So in a state that was already ravaged by the recent economic recession, what good is it make college ever harder to afford than it already is? Given that tuition increases have become a normal occurrence in colleges in this decade, students don’t even put up a fight and just accept that they have to pay more because they’re told that the college degree is going to be worth it.

Don’t get me wrong, the importance placed on having a college degree is valid. But politicians need to think about the position that these cuts place the students in.

In a time when the state can make a bold statement and place an emphasis on helping students reach the goal of a college degree, Michigan can’t afford to keep raising tuition and turning off potential future leaders because of a lack of funds.

Placing an emphasis on education is exactly what this state needs to push forward an effort to produce successful college graduates, which in turn can help reinvent Michigan by bringing in businesses to hire these talented students.

Gone are the days of factory work and the reliance on the automotive industry in this state, and politicians need to realize the need for a reinvented workforce to take Michigan from downtrodden state to a state of innovators and leaders.

So let’s just let the politicians keep throwing higher education under the bus when it comes to cutting funds. You don’t mind spending more money anyway, right? n