By Ken Selvaggi
WAVE 3 Vice President & General Manager
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The positives are starting to pile up with education in the Louisville to Lexington corridor.
The Jefferson County Public School Class of 2013 earned $132 million in scholarships.
Many headed to the University of Louisville, where the graduation rate is up 23 percent, or the University of Kentucky, where 176 National Merit Scholars were accepted the past two years, on par with Duke, and more than Brown and Dartmouth.
UK students will enjoy 12 new resident halls over the next three years, and UofL students are enjoying a brand new student recreation center.
Both colleges have dealt well with 14 funding cuts the past 14 years, necessitated in part by the growing needs of the Medicaid and Pension programs.
But to sustain their growth and to continue to be economic catalysts in the Commonwealth, those cuts must stop.
Top faculty members at both institutions are at risk of being picked up by competitors who are paying more for talent because their states are restoring funding at their colleges that had been cut during the recession.
Both schools benefit from the revenue generated by the football and basketball teams. The football program at UK actually generates double the net revenue as basketball and both programs contributed $65 million to help fund a new academic science building.
But those sports also help fund all the other sports on campus. For the academic standing to continue to grow as impressively as the sports standing at both schools, state funding must be restored at prior levels.
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