Higher-Education Reform Proves an Elusive Goal for New Republican Leaders

For New Republican Governors, Higher-Education Reform Proves an Elusive Goal 2

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Students and others protested proposed state budget cuts in higher education and the costs of borrowing to attend college outside Gov. Tom Corbett's Philadelphia office in March.

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close For New Republican Governors, Higher-Education Reform Proves an Elusive Goal 2

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Students and others protested proposed state budget cuts in higher education and the costs of borrowing to attend college outside Gov. Tom Corbett's Philadelphia office in March.

Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania is the latest in a string of first-term Republican governors to try his hand at a major higher-education reform. If the examples of his peers are any indication, the chances of success are mixed, at best.

The governor was elected in 2010 on a popular pledge to fill the state's $4-billion budget gap without raising taxes. But his attempts to slash spending on higher education as much as 30 percent in the current budget—and 50 percent the previous