MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Thursday is Higher Education Advocacy Day at the Alabama State House. The day is an opportunity for students and others to directly share the importance of increased funding for higher education to Gov. Kay Ivey, state lawmakers, and other constitutional officers.
This year, Higher Ed Day will be a little different than years past and will be highlighted by a formal higher education luncheon on the Capitol lawn where students are expected to hear from Ivey, Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh, House Speaker Mac McCutcheon and others.
Legislators have been invited to sit at tables with students to hear directly the needs and opportunities of higher education.
There will be no rally on the steps of the State House this year, but about 1,000 students, faculty, advocates, mascots and marching bands from colleges and universities around the state will still parade through downtown Montgomery.
Student leaders will sign a pledge card supporting increased funding for higher education before the luncheon. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m. at Cramton Bowl and ends at the State House.
Higher Ed Day is organized by the Higher Education Partnership, which says higher education is an important economic driver in communities, creating jobs, strengthening quality of life and making a $20 billion annual economic impact.
Alabama's public universities provide options for students to improve career opportunities, ear more income, gain leadership skills and cultural awareness that will create long term impacts for students. The Higher Education Partnership also says students with a bachelor's degree will increase lifetime earnings by $1 million.