Education cuts have adverse effect on region

Last week, we ran a story on budget cuts headed to the University.

A state budget shortfall is coming for the next fiscal year, and part of the burden has fallen on the shoulders of Missouri colleges.

With an estimated shortage of $800 billion, Missouri Southern and other universities are looking at least  12.5 percent cut in appropriations from the state.

We’ve heard that the budget may be worse off than originally reported and that we may be in for more cuts.

This is a travesty.

While we understand that sometimes money gets tight and one has to trim the fat, we feel like that shouldn’t be a load carried by higher education.

When government starts cutting spending from education, both K-12 and above, it hurts nobody more than the students who will eventually become contributing members to society.

The education system is the foundation of a region, the base of a community. To cut from that under nearly any circumstance is despicable.  

Sure, faculty will be stretched thinner as they teach more and more classes to make up for staffing shortages. Sure, administrators will have to make tough decisions and face the flak that will surely come their way from the press and the rest of campus.

That sucks.

What sucks even more is watching students lose programs they love and need. We’ve heard rumors that we may be a group facing such a loss.

There is talk on campus that The Chart may lose our print edition or maybe even our publication altogether.

This can’t happen.

There is more than one of us on this staff who would not be a student at this University if it weren’t for the opportunities we have at The Chart.

And it’s not just us, but any other program vital to the success of its students.

Students from The Chart consistently go on to jobs in the Joplin community, jobs that, if we lost our program, would go to graduates from other universities.

And no offense to the Gorillas, but we’d rather Southern graduates fill those jobs than Pittsburg State graduates.

It’s entirely unjust to ride the backs of students to a balanced budget. These are your future workers and leaders. These are the people who will help balance that budget again in the future.

Why handicap them with cuts to programs needed to ensure they make a smooth transition to the “real world?” Cut programs that don’t directly affect students’ abilities to find jobs.

Cut superfluous staff positions. Cut administrators’ inflated salaries.

Sometimes the line between making money and losing it isn’t the bottom line. Sometimes that line is the one separating students from making it and not.

Without some of the programs we’ve heard are on the chopping block, many students will end up on the wrong side of that line.

And so will this University.