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Christie promotes education growth

At a time in history when the American economy has been stagnant, our leaders must make tough decisions in all aspects of society. As a University student studying economics and history, it is relieving to me to have received an important e-mail message on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011, from President Richard L. McCormick addressing his opinions on the 2011-2012 New Jersey State Budget Proposal. The message was sent to all University students and staff explaining the implications the budget proposal will have on the University community. McCormick starts his address by stating Gov. Chris Christie's proposal will reduce spending by 2.6 percent and follows with this statement: "Among the cuts are reductions in most of the executive departments of state government. It is gratifying that, against this backdrop, the governor counted funding for higher education as a ‘core priority.'"

Having two important New Jersey leaders on the same page gives our state an upper hand on many other states in disarray. Christie's focus on aiding higher education will help drive New Jersey's economy in the years to come. By setting a foundation to build off, Christie has set up a successful environment for growing economic activity. In my four years at the University, I have never witnessed an address such as this and was pleased that McCormick was able to acknowledge Christie's actions toward grant programs that assist many undergraduate students.

"Preserving operating support and increasing student aid are welcome signs that the long-term decline in higher education funding has come to a halt," McCormick said in the proposal.

As a senior graduating this spring, I am proud to see these actions taking place as well. Although they will not affect me, they will affect the lives of many young students who possess potential but do not have the means to fund a college education. Reading this letter has made me proud of my state and the University for solving a problem that has been growing since my enrollment.

Having our governor and University president on the same side creates positive energy throughout the state. Because of the economic stress we face today, this is more important than ever.

Anthony Riga is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in economics with a minor in general history.

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