PHOENIX — A new survey found Arizona ranked dead last in the entire nation for appropriating funds for higher education in this fiscal year’s budget, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Arizona was just one of nine states nationwide to decrease higher education funding this year, along with Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Alaska, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Vermont and New Jersey.
The survey did not include Illinois or Pennsylvania because lawmakers have not approved spending bills for the current budget cycle.
The survey found Arizona is also at the bottom of the list of 15 states that are still spending more than 27 percent less on higher education compared to five years ago, according to the article.
Although nationwide, state dollars for higher education have increased more than seven percent over the past five years, the positive growth has not been reflected in Arizona’s budget. This year alone saw a modest amount of growth at four percent, for the third year in a row.
Overall, more states have appropriated more money to higher education since last year. Last year’s Grapevine survey found 39 states reported increases for higher education funding, compared to this year’s 42.