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Across Kentucky — whether in coal country, big cities, farming communities or factory towns — a college degree or certificate of training can improve individuals’ and families’ economic opportunities. By pursuing a higher education, people like Kimberly are making a better future possible for their kids like Brooklyn. They are also equipping Kentucky with a competitive, first-rate workforce. But Kentucky is doing a disservice to its people and the Commonwealth as a whole by cutting funding to higher ed: since 2008, state funding for public universities and colleges has been cut by 28 percent and for community colleges and technical schools by 27 percent. Tuition is going up at the same time as tens of thousands of eligible students do not receive need-based financial aid because funding is inadequate. Investing more in a quality, affordable system of higher education will make us stronger, together.