With budget cuts looming, as well as talk of capping enrollment at Tennessee colleges because of financial woes, I wish to review the status of higher education in Tennessee.
First, I wish to state a disclaimer. Despite some disturbing news about the current state of Tennessee higher education, this is not an article calling for an income tax. Rather, it is merely a factual explanation of some deficiencies and needs in our system of post-secondary education.
Unfortunately, higher education has been relegated to a relatively low priority among programs competing for scarce tax dollars. Since the mid-1980s, courts have mandated large expenditures for K-12 education, prisons, mental health and indigent health care (once Medicaid, now TennCare). This court-ordered spending has taken the lion