Some education should be rural
August 30, 2012
Under a proposal approved by Nevada regents last week, universities and colleges will be funded based on their output rather than their enrollment.
Conceived by a consultant and clearly benefiting Southern Nevada schools, it looks like an attempt to shift funding from far flung Northern Nevada schools to the three institutions of higher learning in Southern Nevada.
We’ve heard again and again how college students in the Las Vegas Valley receive less per student than their northern counterparts.
We won’t argue, it’s true. It’s called economy of scale, and we’re a bit shocked that the largest institutions of higher learning in the state fail to realize that. Las Vegas has more people and larger institutions, which means it costs less to educate those students.
Just as it’s more expensive to educate children in less populated areas, the same is true of college students or anything else for that matter. Roads are more expensive to maintain per mile, services are more expensive per person to offer.
We believe that community colleges, particularly Great Basin and Western Nevada colleges are valuable feeder schools to the universities.
The key results for those institutions don’t necessarily appear in their graduation rolls, but in the graduation rolls of larger institutions.
We realize that Nevada’s institutions of higher learning are under severe budget pressure driven by reduced state support. But we don’t accept that the solution is to move all the resources to those institutions located in the major cities.