Governor Brian Sandoval made the following statement today in response to comments on higher education spending:
"It is important for Nevadans to know that we are not the only state facing challenges in funding higher education. The economic situation across the nation is forcing Governors and Legislatures to make reductions in higher education spending. Some are facing even deeper cuts than Nevada.
"Here are the facts:
- My budget proposes a seven-percent reduction to higher education. If the one-time infusion of federal stimulus dollars is included in the calculation, the figure can be expressed as a 17.66 percent reduction in total available funds, but the higher education system knew these funds would not be available for this budget. Other figures, such as numbers from 2003 before the current economic crisis, are only being used to make a case for higher taxes and to mislead the public.
- 32 states report a decline in state support of higher education. (Center for the Study of Education Policy, reported by Inside Higher Ed, January 28, 2011)
- Over the past two years, 13 states cut higher education appropriations by more than 10 percent. Arizona cut the most, nearly 22 percent. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 24, 2011)
- Arizona Governor Jan Brewer last week proposed budget cuts for higher education that include a reduction for four-year colleges and universities of 20 percent, and cuts of 50 percent for community colleges. (Inside Higher Ed, January 28, 2011)
- California's Governor Jerry Brown has proposed cuts in state support of 18 percent cut for California State University; 16.4 percent for the University of California; and 6.5 percent for community colleges. (Inside Higher Ed, January 28, 2011)
- Utah's legislature is recommending seven percent cuts to the state's eight degree-granting institutions. (Salt Lake Tribune, January 27, 2011)
"As state leaders, our energies should be spent working together on solutions to achieve better results from a system using available resources and providing accurate statistics so the voters can make informed decisions. I look forward to that conversation when the Legislature convenes in February."