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State Appropriations Up in 2006

January 20, 2006

State spending for higher education had its biggest jump since 2001, according to the annual study conducted by the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University. Total general-fund appropriations for the 2005-06 fiscal year rose by 6 percent to $66.6 billion from the previous year. This comes as a relief to colleges around the country that have suffered in recent years from numbers as dramatic as a 2.1 percent decrease in appropriations during  FY03-04.

Hawaii had the highest increase in state spending--20.1 percent for the current fiscal year--followed by Alabama and Montana with increases of 14.9 percent and 13.2 percent, respectively. For the second year in a row, West Virginia suffered the greatest loss in state spending (-6.0 percent). Despite this lack of general-fund support, financial aid, which primarily comes from lottery and video-poker revenues in West Virginia, increased more than 22 percent over the previous year. Illinois had the second greatest drop in state spending (-2.6 percent), followed by Mississippi (-0.9 percent).

State spending specifically for community colleges grew 6.8 percent for the year. However, this figure was skewed by the 12.4 percent increase in appropriations for California community colleges. Excluding California, the average increase in state budgets drops to 5 percent for two-year colleges.

Detailed data tables are available on the Grapevine Web site