Friday, October 29, 2010

Anxious About Tuesday

Inside Higher Ed
October 29, 2010
Higher education officials in some states are on tenterhooks about next week’s midterm elections, when voters will decide whether to infuse some much-needed cash into colleges and universities -- or, in some cases, to make it harder for states to do so.
Several of the 160 ballot initiatives to be voted on nationwide will affect colleges and universities. The public has generally backed spending on higher education in recent elections, approving ballot measures that funded bonds for colleges and maintained income taxes. Similar measures this year in states such as Alaska, Colorado and Massachusetts could maintain or cut current state funding, or give colleges a boost they say is crucial.
But heavy anti-tax campaigning and the anticipated record turnout of voters who characterize themselves as conservatives -- including a mobilized, anti-tax Tea Party -- have some college officials concerned that the climate for such measures is far from ideal.
Among other ballot measures with implications for higher education, one in Arizona -- where educators are still reeling from the controversial immigration law – could (after other failed attempts) make the state the fifth to ban affirmative action in college admissions and employment (more on that below).

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