Some people just want to keep pumping up that higher ed bubble.

Spencer Irvine of Accuracy in Academia reports.

Colleges Want more Public and State Funding

Running out of funds and ideas, colleges want more public funding to help keep them afloat. During a recent panel discussion at the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, speakers praised President Barack Obama’s higher education push for performance-based pay and incentives for colleges and universities.

Ted Mitchell, U.S. Department of Education undersecretary, complained about today’s higher education funding environment, telling the audience, “There has been systematic disinvestment by states throughout the Great Recession in higher education,” adding that it “really does disadvantage students” from low-income neighborhoods and backgrounds. He felt the state governments, by not funding state universities as much as they used to, were “taking what was a fairly balanced three party compact between states, and families and the federal government and unbalancing that in a way.”

He applauded his department’s efforts to create innovation in higher education through a “first-in-the-world grant competition” where over 500 colleges and universities applied. According to Mitchell,  there is a higher education performance fund, run by the Department of Education, to reward states for funding their public institutions and ensure they are funding low-income students.

David Baime, the senior vice president for Government Relations and Research for the American Association of Community Colleges,  touted the comparatively lower cost of community colleges and claimed that several community college presidents have begun aggressive outreach efforts to their communities, in order to boost enrollment and increase college readiness. The Great Recession, he noted, was “a double whammy as it were; where we had cuts in funding…along with dramatically increased enrollment” at the same time. Baime said community colleges saw “22% increased enrollment during the three peak years of the recession…which has slowly tapered off [today].”