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February 09, 2012 11:02 AM Stereotypes, Kentucky-Style

By Daniel Luzer

BarefootHillbilly

In Kentucky, like in many, many other states, the legislature continues to cut the budget for higher education. Students are protesting. These cuts will make students poorer. Poverty and ignorance are stereotypes of Kentuckians. These are the impressions many Kentucky politicians are eager to overcome. Good luck with that.

Failure to invest in education is how people become poor, students argue. According to a piece at WDRB 41 News:

[About ] 300 college students bared it all below the ankle on Tuesday to prove a point — cuts to higher education play right into a stereotype.
The fresh faces of the next generation quickly learned the soles of their feet as they hit the cold concrete and then chilly Capitol marble floors can speak right to the ears of politicians. “If they’re going to keep cutting higher education, we’re going to fulfill our own stereotypes and we’re going to end up being the barefoot state everyone makes fun of,” says University of Louisville student Olivia McMillen.

Kentucky’s Democratic Governor, Steve Beshear, proposed cutting the budget for higher education by more than $50 million. This is, according to the WDRB story, the 12th year that Kentucky higher education has faced cuts from the state.

Beshear’s budget also calls for $43 million in tax breaks to support the construction of a creation-themed amusement park in Northern Kentucky.

Yea, they don’t need no more book learning. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer