State support for postsecondary education crept higher nationwide this fiscal year, according to a nationwide survey, and WSU paralleled that trend.

In the budgets that states adopted for the 2004-2005 fiscal year, total appropriations for higher education rose by 3.8 percent, to $63 billion, from the year before, said a survey conducted by the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University. Survey results were reported in a recent issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

At WSU, the operating budget for 2003-2004 was $186,232,200, said Joan King, associate budget director-operations. The operating budget for 2004-2005 rose to $191,246,000 or an increase of about 2.7 percent.One year ago, the ISU survey, which tracks state general fund appropriations for college needs other than construction, showed that state higher ed budgets had fallen by 2.1 percent, to $60.7 billion. That represented the first actual spending cut since 1992-93.

This year’s biggest jump was in Florida, where appropriations for higher education in 2004-2005 rose by 11.1 percent as sales tax revenues increased.