“There really is a crisis and a need for action and a need for change,” said Venable. He noted that state support has fallen from 42 percent of the UW’s budget a few decades ago to only 14 percent today. That decline has been exacerbated by the pandemic economy. “We would be having this conversation without COVID,” he said, “though it’s a catalyst.”
Lyall noted that the state legislature’s decision to freeze tuition over the last 10 years has made it impossible for UW System universities to set a market rate for the price of their services. “I don’t know of any of any other university that has had its tuition frozen for the past decade,” she said. “I don’t know of any business that could survive having its prices frozen for a decade.”
Let’s break down the two major complaints. First, state funding of UW has dropped from 42% to 14% over a “few decades.” TRUE! Why?
I’ll save myself the homework again and just post the same thing I posted a few months ago:
The balance between funding sources is a policy decision. What has happened here is that the UW System has driven up spending despite declining enrollment. State and local lawmakers resisted maintaining the taxpayers’ commitment to the spending and the percentage share declined. For some numbers:
In the 2010-11 operating budget, the UW System spent $5.591 billion to educate 178,909 students. That’s $31,251 per student.
In the 2018-19 operating budget, the UW System spent $6.349 billion to educate 164,494 students. That’s $38,597 per student.
If you want to claim inflation… nope. $31,251 in 2010 inflation-adjusts to $35,988 in 2018. UW is still spending $2,609 more per student for no rational reason at all.
The problem here is just that the UW System spends far too much. They can increase the percentage of public support by just lowering their overall spending. But they won’t… because it’s not about the share of public support. It’s simply about the fact that they want even more money to waste.
Meanwhile, they want to lift the tuition cap. What does that do? The kids will still come because borrowed money is still easy to come by. As long as kids can use debt to fund their college ambitions because they are brainwashed into believing that a college education is the only path to financial security, they will. What the UW big wigs are really advocating here is for more kids to shoulder even more student debt in order to fund their irresponsible spending. And where does that spending go? It goes into the pockets of themselves and staff to pay for their lifestyles.
Sure, some of the kids will get a valuable education in return. Some will not. But all will pay.