The editorial on college attainment has some encouraging news. Four-year degree attainment is up twenty one percent at Michigan’s public universities since 1999. And graduation rates are going up. That’s real progress. A rare bright spot in what has been a real depressing decade.
The editorial notes that the rate of growth has slowed in the last few years. And worries that may be, in part, caused by higher tuition. Higher tuition is a direct result of declining state investment in higher education.
That brings us to the second piece – a column by the Press’ Jeff Cranson. Its terrific. Its a common sense essay on the fact that taxes pay for needed services. No taxes, no services. And that some of those services – like higher education – are real important to the future well being of Michiganians.
Cranson cites the small, but growing, number of leaders – both public and private – who have begun a serious discussion of revamping our tax system as a way of making funds available for the public investments that really matter. That’s real encouraging.
He also cites a recent presentation I did where I made the case again that the most prosperous states, by and large, are characterized by high college attainment; while the least prosperous, by and large, are low tax. Once again we need to ask ourselves: why would we want to follow a path to being one of the poorest states in the nation?
We can do better. Now is the time for leadership that get us back on a path to prosperity. These two opinion pieces provide good insight to what that path looks like.