Jindal signs WISE legislation _lowres

Advocate Photo by ELIZABETH CRISP -- During a ceremony at LSU on June 19, 2014, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed legislation to create the WISE Fund, a $40 million performance-based pot of money for Louisiana colleges and universities that will be linked to research and workforce development.

Gov. Bobby Jindal was not completely truthful when he claimed this week that overall state spending on higher education has increased slightly since he took office in 2008, the Fact Checker column of the Washington Postsaid Wednesday.

"The total higher education budget, including means of total finance — is actually a little bit, just slightly, higher than when I took office,” the governor said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast this week.

The column awarded Jindal's claim three long-nosed Pinocchios, which reflects "significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions."

A June report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows Louisiana’s per student higher ed funding has fallen more than any other state between fiscal 2008 and the current budget year .

The Advocate reported Jindal's proposed budget, which his administration says will include recommendations for paring back costs, is slated to be revealed Feb. 27. The state faces a $1.6 billion funding shortfall in the coming year, largely a result of Jindal’s reluctance to touch any measure that could be seen as increasing taxes, plus the impact of slumping oil prices.

Higher education and health care are the largest pieces of the state budget that aren’t protected by the state constitution — leaving them most vulnerable to such large-scale cuts.

Click here to read the full Washington post story.