| June 6, 2011

Oklahoma taxpayers deserve better

In the most recent state budget, Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities received a 5.8 percent cut in state appropriations. Given how poorly higher-education officials are using the resources they are currently given (see table), OCPA will recommend an even larger reduction for next year, in conjunction with our recommendation to reduce the Oklahoma income-tax rate. As economist Richard Vedder once pointed out in an article for OCPA, government spending on higher education “forces a transfer of resources from market-driven and competitive enterprises in the highly productive private sector to a not-for-profit organization with no definable bottom line and few incentives to reduce costs.”

Fortunately, a reduction in higher-education appropriations need not result in a tuition hike. Colleges and universities should listen to their customers and require professors to teach more. Then they should decrease tuition costs substantially.

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