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New report shows WV cuts to higher education

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The Center on Budget and Policy released a report May 1 that shows West Virginia isn’t the only state making cuts to higher education.

However, the Mountain State only stands in front of Wyoming in how much those cuts are over the last school year. West Virginia, according to the report, cut 4.7 percent of its state spending on higher education. Wyoming cut 7.2 percent.

Michael Mitchell, policy analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy, said while the cuts are not significant in West Virginia they certainly could deter the state’s residents from attending college altogether.

Sean O’Leary, policy analyst with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, said the report shows after adjusting for inflation, 48 states including the Mountain State are spending less per student now than they did before the recession.

O’Leary said as a result to the cuts, tuition in the state’s public colleges and universities, as well as those institutions across the country, has increased.

While most states have begun the process of restoring the recession cuts, 42 states are investing more in higher education this year than they did one year ago, according to the report.

West Virginia has cut spending by 21 percent per year for Fiscal Year 2014 compared to FY 2008, a reduction of over $1,800.

In fact, eight states are continuing to cut higher education with West Virginia as the second deepest cut during this school year.