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Central Louisiana legislators urge college students to speak up about budget cuts

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Senior nursing student Amy Emon asks a question Monday at public forum Louisiana State University at Alexandria. Several area lawmakers attended the forum about the effects of budget cuts on higher education.

By Karina Vailes

Several Alexandria-area legislators told students a Louisiana State University at Alexandria on Monday that they can affect the future of higher education if they speak out in support of their institution.

Herbert Dixon, Chris Hazel and Chris Roy Jr., all state representatives, and state Sen. Joe McPherson were at a public forum at LSU-Alexandria where they listened to students’ concerns about recent and proposed budget cuts that some say will diminish the higher education system.

“We are indeed in a fiscal crisis and your input and your participation in this democracy is going to be more valuable now than in any other time,” Dixon told the audience in the tudent center’s Magnolia Cafe.

State support of the LSUA budget has dropped close to 50 percent from $12.6 million in the 2008-09 to $7.1 million this year — a shift from a historic high of 69 percent to 36 percent.

“Sometimes we overspend in the good times, and we have to tighten our belt in the bad times and this is going to be one of those times that probably our belt buckle is going to meet our back bone,” McPherson said.

In response to a student’s question about the possibility of a higher education tax, some legislators noted that the governor has line-item veto authority and could kill such an attempt by lawmakers.

The legislators encouraged feedback and ideas from students.

Like local students, higher education students from across the state seem to be raising their voices in support of higher education.

Some students will stage a “Rally for Higher Education” at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday on the steps of the Capitol.

LSU-Alexandria Student Government President Caina Munson echoed legislators request to speak out.

“I think it’s important that we have the conversation, and I think it’s important that students shape conversation about their education. That’s a step in the right direction,” Munson said.

Munson said one of the challenges higher education faces is Gov. Bobby Jindal’s pledge to balance the state budget without raising taxes.

“However, he’s had no problem implementing a 10 percent tuition increase on some of the most vulnerable citizens,” Munson said.

Written by demon53

November 10, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Real Views, william broussard. william broussard said: Central Louisiana legislators urge college students to speak up about budget cuts: […]

  2. […] the original post:  Central Louisiana legislators urge college students to speak up … By admin | category: LOUISIANA STATE | tags: affect-the-future, alexandria, […]

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