Archive for Sunday, July 30, 2006

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July 30, 2006


Most university cities such as Lawrence have a leg up on other communities.

Many residents are highly educated. The city likely has a vibrant arts and sports scene. The business community benefits from a constant influx of people who spend money.

Lawrence has all these advantages. It also has its share of problems - higher than average home prices, low wages, increasing taxes.

But how do those issues compare with other similar Midwest university cities?

The Lawrence Journal-World, 6News and World Online set out to determine where Lawrence stacks up compared with Ames, Iowa, home of Iowa State University; Iowa City, Iowa, where you find the University of Iowa; Manhattan, with its Kansas State University; Columbia, Mo., home to the University of Missouri; Norman, Okla., the city of the University of Oklahoma; and Stillwater, Okla., the locale for Oklahoma State University.

The comparisons range from street maintenance to property taxes, and acres of public parks to student-teacher ratios.

Several reports were reviewed and agencies consulted, including the National Center for Education Statistics, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, an analysis of government accounting by Kansas University's Department of Public Administration, and reviews of each town's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

Results were shown to experts to add perspective to the numbers.

While it is difficult to formulate complete apples-to-apples comparisons because of budgeting differences and varying test standards, trends do take shape.

Read on and see how Lawrence measures up.


The_Twelve 11 years, 9 months ago

Interesting stories that don't go far enough.

How about the transpo issue? Ever wonder how other college towns exist and COEXIST with university-run transportation? Take a look at the Iowa City model.

My word! You can almost get anywhere in the Iowa City/Coralville area on a BUS! Moreover, the Cambus and IC/Coralville systems actually work together, and have for 30 years. How about transpo arrangements for the physically challenged?

Or more town/gown issues? Does the town actually support college events?? Take a look at ticket sales for events other than sports.

Having lived in both IC and Lawrence, I prefer the former. Both cities may be the liberal bastions of their respective states, but at least the rest of Iowa doesn't scorn IC the way KS and its legislators scorn Lawrence. Guess it's just the way each state views higher education.

BTW, IC was just a little cheaper, and there were multiple job opportunities open to people w/o transportation. Life was hell in this city for the three years I didn't own a car.

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