LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) – Hundreds of college students plan to rally against recent budget cuts to higher education.
Students have planned a so-called "Rally for Higher Ed" for this coming Wednesday, Nov. 10th. The rally will take place on the steps of the state capitol between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The rally comes a few days after the board of supervisors for LSU approved $21 million in school cuts.
Louisiana colleges were asked to make more than $100 million in mid-year cuts to help the state re-balance its budget.
LSU took the biggest hit, but no college was exempt.
MSU was forced to cut $431,000 from its budget. But unlike many other schools across the state, MSU officials said they would be able to sustain this latest round of cuts without getting rid of employees or courses.
"Each college campus is addressing these cuts in their own unique way," said MSU Spokeswoman Candace Townsend. "Fortunately, we do have a number of vacant positions, positions that have become vacant since the beginning of the fiscal year or July 1, so we're able to hold those and meet this particular cut."
As the head of the state government, Gov. Bobby Jindal is the main person responsible for the cuts as far as students are concerned.
But Jindal disputes claims by some that higher education has been cut by $310 million since he took office. The governor said the correct figure is more like $247 million.
However, he does acknowledge that the state's colleges will have to provide a better service with less.
"With the rest of state government, we've had to cut 26 percent," said Jindal. "Higher Ed's only been cut less than 4 ½ percent. When I've talked to leaders of campuses like McNeese, they say clearly they're going to do a better job. They're going to do more with less."