“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
Project Crisis Call: in support of LSU Shreveport
Thank you for taking the time to read and hopefully sign this petition. Our goal is to get 100,000 signatures to send to the legislature in Baton Rouge telling them that we as students, teachers, business people, and citizens will not lay down while higher education is cut in the Shreveport/Bossier City area. LSU Shreveport is the only public four-year university available in our area. It offers a dynamic combination of academics, community involvement, athletics, student programs, and employment opportunities. The proposed budget cuts in the coming fiscal year would undermine all of these and bring about a disastrous change to the LSUS community…unless of course we have something to say about it. Let’s make our voices heard. Let’s show the government what we want done. Let’s live true to the words of “government by the people, of the people, and for the people.” Please help us and please spread the word. Thank you.
We, the undersigned citizens of Shreveport and Bossier City and surrounding communities, call upon the Louisiana Legislature to stop the budget cuts to higher education. We call upon our elected representatives to take whatever action necessary to cut spending that has led to massive budget cuts to higher education and will further erode the health of our institutions that grant 4 year degrees, primarily LSU Shreveport. In making this demand we note the following:
LSU Shreveport has a significant impact on the Twin Cities community –
- In the economy –
- $46 million is generated for this area in jobs, services, vendors, and restaurants; along with the taxes and sales tax revenues generated by all of its employees and students.
- We must create jobs now; not destroy them, for the economic health of our community and, ultimately, our entire state.
- In education –
- LSU Shreveport graduates about 600 students a year and a college degree has great value.
- Beyond the intellectual development, beyond the theoretical and technical training, beyond the critical reasoning skills, and beyond the experience itself, there’s another way that a college degree has value. Over the course of a working life, college graduates earn more than high school graduates. Research estimates this figure could be up to $1 million.
- A 4 year university provides the education that employers say is extremely important. These employers are necessary for the Twin Cities to continue to grow this economy and attract new industry.
- Recent research has shown that more than 50% of the graduates from LSU Shreveport stay in this area to work. This is a true indicator that these graduates are dedicated to this community and this state.
- The Shreveport/Bossier City area should be maximizing their intellectual and educational resources to foster our economic development.
Budget cuts can only be solved by the Louisiana Legislature –
- The state has been facing budget shortfalls since 2008.
- The Louisiana Legislature has continued to increase spending in the face of these shortfalls
- Sometimes for questionably significant projects or programs.
- The only solution provided, thus far, by the Legislature has been to sacrifice our future and well-being by slashing higher education and health care in Louisiana.
- The Legislature must act to save our economy and our future by saving higher education. Several ideas are already in the minds of our citizens:
- Repeal the excess spending added to the Governor’s budget for 2010-2011.
- Restructure state government.
- And, most importantly, call a Constitutional Convention to eliminate the current and untenable budgetary constraints in our fair state.
- The aforementioned ideas are the only possible salvation of Louisiana’s future other than raising revenue through increased taxation.
We believe that higher education is so essential to our community’s social and economic future that we demand immediate action from our Legislature.
With the newest proposal of 10% or less in cuts to college budgets, many have celebrated a victory. Unfortunately, these cuts still come at a great disadvantage to schools whose budgets are already on a thin strip of ice. These newest cuts, although lessened, still present campus administrators with the challenges of what or whom to cut. In particular reference to the LSU Shreveport campus, the proposal of faculty and programs to be cut has been the next and most difficult proposal. Questions arise such as:
"What program isn't good enough?"
"Which teacher can we afford to lose?"
"Who should receive a paycut?"
It is difficult questions like these that still have to be answered with a 10% budget cut.
Therefore, please consider this letter and petition as a sign to work cooperatively with your citizens to create positive, fiscally responsible solutions to the budget crisis so that questions such as these would not need to be asked, and so the education system in Louisiana may not be crippled more than it currently has. We would also ask that you would continue your use of power as a citizen-elected official to lead, solve, and pursue a greater tomorrow not only for our citizens, but for its students.
Thank you for your time and for your actions.