Kentucky’s Republican Governor Matthew Bevin has been sued by the state’s Attorney General Andy Beshear over the governor’s 4.5 percent cut to all education funding.
In an executive action to help the state’s pension fund, the governor ordered the cut and cited that he did it because the state House and Senate couldn’t come to an agreement over the state’s budget.
As a response to the governor’s move, Beshear filed a lawsuit noting that Bevin’s move was illegal and was not in the purview of his powers as governor.
A point of emphasis about how Bevin views education and its role in the American economy, he believes that too many students invest time and money into liberal arts degrees and that Kentucky should pay more for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) majors.
Politicians have taken aim at liberal art majors as of late, including President Obama, noting that these types of degrees do not lead to jobs.
Unfortunately that information is not true. A study by the Association of American Colleges and Universities as recent as 2014 shows that students who graduate with a degree in liberal arts actually turn out better financially than those who majored in a field professional field.
That’s good news on the surface, but the survey revealed something else that may hold some students back from majoring in liberal arts. The financial payoff for liberal arts graduates doesn’t reveal itself until former students are in their mid-50’s.
Still--those older students see an economic return on investment even if it doesn’t come until later in life.
But this all reveals an attitude that many top leaders have about education through an ossified opinion. STEM education is important and we should absolutely encourage more students to study in that field. Yet it doesn’t mean that we should steer some away from liberal art degrees because we believe that it will not lead to jobs.
Additionally, if we want students to succeed in certain fields, then continuing cuts to education isn’t helpful. It only harms our ability to mold our economy for the future.
The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.