NJPP urges more higher-ed investment

TRENTON – A nonprofit group urges the state to invest money not in a tax cut but toward higher education.

N.J. Policy Perspective states in a report issued Thursday that the approximately $1.6 billion that would be drained from the state’s coffers if a tax cut proposal goes through should better be used to invest in programs to grow the economy.

“Perennial promises of lower taxes lack credibility and deflect the public conversation away from equipping New Jersey to restore prosperity and better jobs,” NJPP President Gordon MacInnes said in a release.

“Without accessible higher education, improved infrastructure and greater public-private partnerships for research and innovation, New Jersey’s economy will continue to fall behind those of neighboring states that are making those investments.”

NJPP said it will present a series of reports – “Invest in New Jersey” – that kicked off with the higher education proposal.

Future reports will examine spending on infrastructure needs and high-quality preschool for poor and working families, NJPP stated.

Among other things, NJPP claims state support for colleges and universities has not kept pace with a surge in enrollment, more costs are being borne by students and families, tuition is rising faster than incomes, and some families are being priced out of the market.

“A highly educated workforce is a clear driver of economic growth and a resource that firms look for when making location and expansion decisions,” the report states.

Last year, voters in New Jersey approved the first higher-education bond issue in years, allowing public colleges and universities to build new classrooms and labs.

  NJPP urges more higher-ed investment