It's not a new story. Higher education in the state of Louisiana is in an economic pickle of incredible proportions. While these present day issues are posing problems for students, parents, and administrators it's the future that has LSU President F. King Alexander very concern.

Alexander when before the House Appropriations Committee yesterday to voice his concerns over a proposed 16th budget cut for higher education. President Alexander suggested that with the state's flagship university already ranked 46 out of 50 flagship universities in per student spending there just isn't a lot of wiggle room for even more cuts.

Help us do more, we’ll do more with less than anybody else in the country, we’re showing that. But help us with a little bit more and we’ll do a lot more in terms of graduating class, our enrollments have never set records like they have.

Alexander's remarks to the Louisiana Radio Network voiced a strong concern for choices that future students might have to make. He believes these cuts are going to negatively affect enrollment at the school. He noted that the University of Alabama is in the process of hiring 300 new teachers, while LSU has lost over 500 in the past nine years.

Some of those they’re hiring are ours that are going to Alabama. Now, we would take notice if we were losing football coaches.

All we can say to that is OUCH! The truth hurts.

There have been proposals in the legislature to actually increase spending on higher education. Higher Education Commissioner Joseph Rallo is asking the legislature to increase funding by $189-million in next year’s budget. While that is a great request the reality is the state is expected to be $600 million in the red this year.

It's a pretty simple question that needs an answer, is higher education and the future of Louisiana worth paying for? Only time and the legislature will tell.

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