While it should come as no surprise, President Donald Trump’s new federal budget proposal targets higher education for what would be unparalleled budget cuts. Over the next ten years Trump’s budget plan would eliminate more than $143 billion in financial aid and federal support for students seeking a college education.
Trump’s budget ends the effective Perkins Loan program, eliminates the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, makes record cuts to Pell Grants, dumps the program to forgive student loan debts if a student works for at least 10 years in selected public sector jobs and ends a program that covers interest payments for low income students while they are enrolled in school.
But at the same time, in what can only be described as an incredibly insulting attack, Democratic legislators in the Connecticut General Assembly have proposed equally appalling budget cuts aimed at Connecticut’s public colleges and universities.
In February, Governor Dannel Malloy targeted Connecticut’s public colleges and universities for nearly $50 million in budget cuts, these coming on top of the record cuts Malloy has already made to the University of Connecticut, to the Connecticut State Universities and to the state’s community college system.
But now, in a stunning development, the Democrats in the General Assembly have proposed an additional $135 million in cuts to Connecticut’s public colleges and universities, ensuring massive tuition increases and major reductions in programs and services at all public institutions of higher education in Connecticut.
While Trump’s cuts are to be expected from an unstable, right-wing “nut job,” the cuts being proposed by the Democrats would have a more immediate and devastating impact on public higher education in Connecticut.
The fact that Democratic legislators have proposed to destroy Connecticut’s public colleges and universities is a sad commentary about just how little they care about Connecticut’s middle income and poorer residents and how little they understand about meeting the future needs of Connecticut’s economy.
For more on the federal cuts go to: https://edsource.org/2017/white-house-seeks-billions-in-cuts-to-higher-education-spending/582316 and https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/05/19/reported-details-trump-budget-include-big-cuts-financial-aid
For more on the budget being proposed by the Democratic legislators go to: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3723660/May-16.pdf