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Letter: A future that's not so bright

It is an interesting juxtaposition.

This spring, I have had the opportunity to attend two award ceremonies for local students, both college students and those graduating from high school with plans to attend an institution of higher learning.

At both ceremonies, guest speakers lauded the students' accomplishments and declared their futures to be bright. Their continued education was deemed paramount. Individuals, civic organizations, and local businesses presented scholarships in order to aid the students' goal of furthering their education. It is great to know our community is so committed to our young people and their future.

Contrast this with the lack of commitment toward higher education from the state government. For the past decade, state funding has not kept pace with the needs of higher education.

Although politicians claim to care about education, current high school graduates now have fewer choices and finish college with more debt. Current budget proposals lack the commitment demonstrated by the scholarship presenters. Worst of all, the bright futures are being compromised as higher education becomes unaffordable.

So, why is there a disconnect between the support of our community and the support from the state government? Are we sending mixed messages to our high school graduates? Education is critical and should be appropriately funded to ensure that all students have an opportunity to succeed after high school.

John Benson