by Max Brantley
From the Arkansas Constitution's amendment, approved in 2008, authorizing a state lottery:
Lottery proceeds remaining after payment of operating expenses and prizes shall supplement, not supplant, non-lottery educational resources.
From an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article today on the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees:
Four-year universities in the UA System received an average of $7,019 per student in state appropriations in 2008-09, a figure system leaders expect to fall to about $6,100 per student once enrollment figures are finalized for 2011-12.
I know. State support for colleges, in sum, has likely grown because of increased enrollment. A decline in per pupil support on the state's part cannot be directly blamed on a legislator's belief that lottery scholarships have taken up the slack. But the bright line numbers are a telling commentary on state support for higher education. The trend will continue, perhaps exponentially if the teabagging Republicans claim a legislative majority. Which means tuition will continue to grow faster than inflation. Gotta pay those vice chancellors somehow.