Hoffman’s distortions

Wayne Hoffman, as you have so often done, you chose your facts in your column published Wednesday in the Lewiston Tribune.

I will focus on only one glaring error. While it is true our Legislature has increased state funding for higher education 18.2 percent since 2010, what you neglected to report is that in 2009, funding for higher education was reduced more than 20 percent, due to the 2008-09 Great Recession.

That means total dollars are still less than they were in 2008.

In addition, you neglect to adjust for inflation. Even with a modest 1 percent inflation rate (actual inflation has been significantly higher), in 10 years, those dollar values are still at least 10 percent less (1 percent per year) in real value.

A single example: A textbook that cost $100 in 2008 is likely to cost $150-to-$200 now.

So, based on those facts, our Legislature is still more than 10 percent behind in appropriating state funds for higher education than were appropriated in 2010.

Finally, funding for both K-12 and higher education were inadequate in 2008 — without consideration for the Great Recession and the subsequent cuts made by our legislators.

Please, stop selecting incomplete facts and concentrate on finding ways to fund higher (and K-12) education that will, indeed, provide full and fair opportunities for all our young people to be adequately and fairly educated. At present, and for the foreseeable future, that method will be increased state funding at all levels.

Louise Regelin


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