Report: Higher ed cuts, tuition hikes will hurt economy

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, May 3, 2014 8:00 pm | Updated: 10:38 pm, Sat May 3, 2014.

Between the start of the national economic downturn in 2008 and the present, only two states have decreased per-student spending on higher education more than New Mexico — and the cuts here have resulted in higher tuition and reduced programs and faculty at state colleges.

During the past six years, per-student spending by the state of New Mexico has fallen by $4,588 when adjusted for inflation, according to a report released Thursday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities based in Washington, D.C. Over the same time span, tuition at four-year universities in New Mexico has risen by more than 25 percent, the study says.

Subscription Required

An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety. You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login Now

Need an online subscription?



You must login to view the full content on this page.

Thank you for reading 5 free articles on our site. You can come back at the end of your 30-day period for another 5 free articles, or you can get complete access to the online edition for $2.49 a week. If you need help, please contact our office at 505-986-3010 You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login Now

Need an online subscription?



Rules of Conduct

  • 1 No Alias Commenters must use their real names.
  • 2 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 3 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. and please turn off caps lock.
  • 4 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Bill Sortino posted at 9:09 am on Mon, May 5, 2014.

    BillS Posts: 6

    Once more, current politicians, will always take the easiest and most simple minded approach and be done with it. New Mexican's, like citizens of other states, have grown accustomed to "cuts were across the board" because elected leaders will not sit down and plan for development of long range plans that include tax revenue as well as "cuts in expenses"! Priorities are linked to "business models" which do not see children or people in general as part of the management group and therefore they at the lowest level of the "organization" get let go to provide budge balancing. That has become the corporatisation of our government at all levels.

    The elected officials believe that they can continue to do this with impunity and that if the message is unclear, they will get away with it and continue to support a corporate government program. They are betting that we, the electorate will not come out to vote and they are betting large money on that! Vote in November and begin a process to retake our children's future!

  • Michael Murray posted at 8:21 am on Mon, May 5, 2014.

    Mike M Posts: 62

    Mr. Rodriguez,
    I did not say that less funding was the answer. There ARE some answers out there however. In my experience one of the answers was parental involvement. I have two (now adult) children who went from public to private school and the amount of parental involvement was much greater in private school. Perhaps because the parents had to write a check and made sure they were getting value for the dollar spent? Students were held to a higher performance level by parents as well. Trouble makers and slackers were give given only so many chances before they were kicked out. Could that be part of why charter schools work? The teachers also knew they had to be responsive to the administration, parents, and students or they would find themselves looking for work.
    One thing that is of NO help is the automatic conservative bad / liberal good or liberal good / conservative bad argument. It is a distraction used by sleight of hand politicians to keep us from seeing how poorly we are served by BOTH sides.

  • charles w Rodriguez posted at 6:08 am on Mon, May 5, 2014.

    scarecrow Posts: 16

    Couldn't agree with you more. One must consider cause and effect, here, I would imagine. However, I will point out that when teachers are barely paid a living wage, the most talented of them will move on to other occupations that pay a sustainable life. The ones who remain behind, are overworked, and deal with a myriad of problems that affect their ability to reach and teach.

  • Michael Hays posted at 6:06 am on Mon, May 5, 2014.

    PenPal Posts: 4

    Right you are!

  • Khal Spencer posted at 4:13 pm on Sun, May 4, 2014.

    Khal Spencer Posts: 418

    You can link funding to graduation rates, but I can almost guarantee what will happen--inflated graduation rates that don't necessarily mean all the graduates should have graduated.

    Back when I was working on my doctoral dissertation at SUNY, there was a popular story that went around, to wit, the University president was tying state funding levels to grade point average. One of our Earth and Space Science professors therefore designed an easy 100 level course where everyone got an A. Instant inflated GPA for the department, hence, more money.

    Let's not eat our seed corn. Higher education is pretty important in a world where robots now do what used to be called "good blue collar jobs".

    Retention rates are another matter. That goes to poor training in K-12 and the related problem of social promotion. In Hawaii, another state bringing up the rear in educational excellence, we also had a lot of ill-prepared high school kids who could not test into freshman English or math. Community college remedial studies programs were a growth industry; yet another example of throwing money at problems where the root cause, K-12 failure (due to a lot of factors, not just poor educational administration), was being ignored.

  • charles w Rodriguez posted at 8:24 am on Sun, May 4, 2014.

    scarecrow Posts: 16

    I'm not sure I understand your point, Mr. Murray. I think the statistics you quote are further evidence that college bound NM children are ill-prepared for the college academic experience. The preponderance of the facts point to the low quality of pre-college education in NM. Do you suppose this might be related to public school system funding?

    You're quite right. Throwing money down a black hole will not solve the problems of education, neither in the country nor in NM. The knee jerk conservative reaction to just put the limited funds elsewhere isn't the answer, either.

  • Michael Murray posted at 7:57 am on Sun, May 4, 2014.

    Mike M Posts: 62

    The National Center for Education Statistics tabulates nation wide graduation rates (at degree-granting Title IV institutions where the students started as full-time, first-time students).
    For those starting college (nation wide at public institutions) in 2005 here is what the numbers are.
    32.0 % graduate in four years and 56.5% graduate in six years.
    For those at public institutions in NM (2004 entry) here are the numbers.
    11.9% graduate in four years and 40.6% graduate in six years.
    How much money is being wasted by trying to force those who are unprepared and will never graduate into college classrooms?
    Throwing more money at the problem is classic government mind set, but what about those people who soak up grants and student loan money, yet finish with nothing but debt and failure?
    Lets stop the knee jerk reaction and at least attempt to find real answers. The automatic left/right, red/blue, good/bad paradigm does nothing positive.

  • charles w Rodriguez posted at 6:23 am on Sun, May 4, 2014.

    scarecrow Posts: 16

    This is disgusting! According to the DNC, there will be no money spent to support Democratic Party candidates in the next election, because Ms. Martinez is too strong to defeat for re-election. What in the world are people thinking?

  • Joseph Hempfling posted at 11:16 pm on Sat, May 3, 2014.

    joehempfling Posts: 190

    But another example of cutting off our noses to spite our faces ! Does anyone remember our good Governor when she was campaigning saying SHE SUPPORTS EDUCATION. Little did we know at the time she meant privatizing it and turning into a money making proposition for her well off friends. AND add insult to injury by calling it "austerity" a la ann ryand !


Follow The Santa Fe New Mexican

Today’s New Mexican, July 25, 2014

To view a replica of today's printed edition of The Santa Fe New Mexican, you must be a subscriber. Get complete access to the online edition, including the print replica, at our low rate of $2.49 a week. That's about the price of a cup of coffee. Or get online and home delivery of our print edition for $3.24. Click here for details.