Concerns for Higher Education Budget

ASHLAND, Ore. — Lawmakers, higher education officials, and students packed a public hearing today to talk about the state budget and the long-felt lack of state funding for higher education costs.

Rogue Community College (RCC) President Peter Angstadt was in attendance encouraging an investment.

“The quicker we can invest, the quicker we can get out of the economic doldrums and become a leader again,” he said. Angstadt said. RCC is back to the same funding dollars it received from the state in 1999. “That would be fine if we were back at the same costs we had 14 years ago but it’s not the case.”

Students also joined the conversation. Justin Silva attends Southern Oregon University (SOU) and he hopes lawmakers to look into other options for funding.

“It’s less about investing in our mistakes and more about investing in our future,” Silva said.

Thomas Letchworth, another SOU student, said the university plans to increase tuition 5.2% next year.

“If you can think of the 9.9% increase last year, and then the one before that, and the one before that, you can see that this trend is fundamentally unsustainable and something needs to change,” he said.