Michigan and other states have made drastic cuts to higher education since the start of the recent recession, leading to increased tuition costs and decreased affordability at a time when advanced education is needed most, according to a national report to be unveiled Tuesday.
"In the future, more jobs will require college-educated workers," said Phil Oliff, policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and author of the report. "For the sake of its economy and future workforce, Michigan should start reinvesting in its colleges and universities now."
The report shows state spending on higher education fell 28 percent between fiscal years 2008 and 2013. Michigan cut 32.4 percent during that time, 13th worst in the nation.
"This report certainly hits home in Michigan as the state has cut support to higher education and reduced business taxes while families and students watch in dismay as tuition rises," said Judy Putnam, spokeswoman for the Michigan League for Public Policy.
But not all barometers in the report put Michigan among the nation's worst.
State spending per student in Michigan, adjusted for inflation, fell $1,817 during the last five years. That's a smaller decrease than 30 other states.
Meanwhile, average tuition at public, four-year colleges in Michigan has risen 19.5 percent. Nationally, 28 states had larger increases.
Putnam noted that the report addresses higher education funding issues between 2008-2013, but tuition has doubled at many four-year universities in Michigan since 2003.