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State Spending on Higher Education Continues Slow Improvement

State spending on higher education continues its slow climb out of the depths of the recession. For a third consecutive year, overall state appropriations for higher education increased by a modest amount ­— 4 percent — according to preliminary figures from an annual survey.

The total increase may change, depending on the outcome of negotiations in Illinois and Pennsylvania, where lawmakers have yet to agree to a budget for the fiscal year that began in July.