Sen. Joyce Elliott, the Democratic nominee for 2nd District Congress against Republican Rep. French Hill, issued a statement decrying the cuts in academic programs at UA Little Rock and higher education generally.

Today, Senator Joyce Elliott made the case for additional funding for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock after its board of trustees announced budget cuts. By reported calculations, around 12% of degree programs will be cut.

Elliott stated, “This economic downturn is incredibly hard on young people entering the job market—they need full academic support now more than ever. Let’s find a way to fully maintain UALR’s degree programs.

“For thirty years in my classroom I saw firsthand how investing in public education has an unmatched long-term payoff. It helps build skills for the next generation and bring prosperity to our communities.

“There’s no denying that universities have unique challenges in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. There are big questions about when to make the decision to fully and safely resume all campus activities in the fall. The success of Little Rock is dependent on the success of its flagship university. Let’s use this unprecedented situation to stop the yearslong divestment in public higher education in Arkansas.”

Actions by the UA Board yesterday and previously by the governor and legislature relative to higher education support generally and the Little Rock campus particularly indicate that her sentiment is not shared in those important quarters.

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Now if the Trojans just had a football team.