With all the talk of the “knowledge-based economy” being America’s future, the National Science Foundation suggests state government is going the wrong way. Its report, “Science and Engineering Indicators,” says almost all states are holding the line – or even cutting funding – for their public research universities. Illinois has cut its funding – per student – from $12,020 to $7,567 from 2002 to 2010.
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“The decline in support is a cause of concern,” National Science Board chairman Ray Bowen said in a statement. “Also, in many states, the decline has been somewhat offset by tuition increases,” making college less affordable. The report is not intended to spur any particular action, though, says program director Jeri Mulrow: “What we do is provide the data. We’re a policy-neutral shop here.”