BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's higher education leaders are asking Gov. Bobby Jindal to continue the current level of state financing for public colleges and to steer $40 million to a workforce investment fund in next year's budget.

The request comes as Jindal planned Tuesday to announce his recommendations for financing Louisiana's colleges in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The presidents of all four Louisiana college systems, along with their governing board chairmen and Board of Regents leaders, sent a letter to Jindal asking for stable funding for their campuses and a new pool of money to help with training students for high-demand jobs.

Jindal and lawmakers have stripped nearly $700 million in state funding from higher education since 2008. Tuition increases on students have offset only about two-thirds of the losses.

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