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As State Budget Revenues Fall Short, Higher Education Faces A Squeeze

Eric Greitens had barely been Missouri’s governor for a week when he faced a pretty tough decision: cutting the Show Me State’s budget.

The state didn’t get as much revenue as expected, prompting the Republican governor to cut $68 million in core funding to colleges, universities and community colleges for the current budget year. That amounts to about 8 percent of the general revenue that goes to colleges and community colleges.

And he’s proposing additional cuts for next year’s budget, which takes effect in July.

“Universities, college professors, administrators are going to get less money than the politicians had promised them in the past,” Greitens said. “And that is one of the places where we’re going to have to ask them to tighten their belts so we can fund our priorities.”

Greitens isn’t the only governor who’s recently cut higher education spending to deal with budget woes. At least 24 states have reported that revenues this year have come in weaker than expected, according the National Association of State Budget Officers. That’s resulted in cuts to higher education spending in several states, including Iowa, New Mexico and Louisiana.