Higher education wants to avoid deeper cuts

The State Board of Regents has voted against further cuts to higher education and urged lawmakers and Governor Gary Herbert to exhaust all options to prevent more budget woes.Teresa Theurer, who served eight years on the state Board of Education, is now on the Board of Regents and she says her experience in public education has been beneficial in her new position. Theurer says higher education is at a critical tipping point after last year’s dramatic cuts. Theurer fears that more cuts could mean fewer class offerings, faculty losses and possible enrollment caps. “That would be a real problem for our economy,” Theurer says. “Also, one of the other things that we’re seeing already, is that it’s taking students longer to graduate and that brings in lots of situations. Number one, it costs more for the state because the state does put in money for every student; and, also it makes it so they have to absorb more debt.”Theurer says the Regents are asking state legislators to consider other options such as using a portion of the rainy day fund, taxes on gasoline, alcohol or cigarettes and possibly restoring some of the food tax.

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