Nearly 100 Louisiana students rallied on the steps of the state capitol yesterday. Their reason for making themselves heard? The nearly 600 million dollars in proposed cuts to Louisiana's public universities. Many of the students carried signs and placards that read "No Funding, No Future". Students were also joined by some lawmakers from inside the capitol.
Senator Gerald Long of Winnfield whose district includes Northwestern State in Nachitoches and LSU at Alexandria told the Louisiana Radio Network, and those attending the rally,
"For us to go home on June the 15th without funding higher education, we did not do our job. We failed you."
Long was one of only a handful of legislators that joined the rally.
David Teagle who is a student at the University of New Orleans
suggested that the cuts in higher education were a blatant theft of Louisiana's future.
"I have two children and the people in this building have stolen from their future because they will not be able to attend the same quality education institutions that all these fine people currently go to."
The state is currently in fiscal crisis with a budget shortfall of $1.6 billion dollars
. That means cuts across many state agencies but those attending the rally think that higher education has had to bear the brunt of the budget burden. The state's higher education system has seen budget cuts over the last 8 years.
Meanwhile inside the capitol the legislative session will continue to explore ways to either cut spending or create revenue in order to keep programs like higher education from being downsized even further. The current legislative session will end June 15th.