Students Rally Against Higher Education Budget Cuts

Students Rally Against Higher Education Budget Cuts

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Education Specialist Sandra Yi reportingHundreds of college students gathered on Capitol Hill today to rally against cuts to higher education.

Lawmakers are looking at cutting 2 percent of the higher education budget.

Two percent amounts to about $11 million -- that's money state schools say they desperately need right now to maintain the quality of education.

At noon today, hundreds of college students from across the state chanted and held signs.

"No way, we won't pay. No way, we won't pay."

They gathered to tell lawmakers that any more cuts would be devastating because many schools are looking at cutting programs and raising tuition.

"And for schools -- like we're saying -- aren't being funded for their growth, and they're being cut at the same time. It's taking away opportunities and it's making students make that decision if they're going to continue and go to school or not," says UVSC student Ryan Vogel.

"If we don't have the people of tomorrow to build up the future, we have nothing," says University of Utah student Kari Curletto.

University of Utah's president Bernie Machen says his school can't afford any more cuts. Already, the "U" has absorbed $13 million in cuts.

Machen says an additional $4 million in cuts would mean more layoffs, canceling up to 100 sections of courses and possibly closing one of the university's colleges.

Students are signing letters to legislators asking for their support in funding higher education.

Meanwhile, legislators say they understand students' concerns and are exploring every option they can to spare them of the cuts.

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