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Tuition Battle Rages, Some Say Because Lawmakers Are Power Hungry

March 27th, 2008 by flanews

A bill to give the legislature control over university tuition cleared the state Senate Thursday. Lawmakers are upset the Board of Governors, which oversees universities, is attempting to raise tuition without their approval. As Whitney Ray tells us, many lawmakers say the bill is about providing better education, but some say its simply about power.

Hear it here: Tuition Battle Rages, Some Say Because Lawmakers Are Power Hungry

Theres a battle in Tallahassee over who controls the states university system. Lawmakers have fast tracked a bill to give the legislature control over tuition. The Board of Governors claims the bill creates unnecessary competition among the states 11 universities.

It would pit our schools in the system against one another, because depending on whos in power in the legislature, or where the school is located, those schools are going to try to get the best thing for themselves, said Sheila McDevitt, Vice Chair of the Board of Governor.

Senator Arthenia Joyner said the bill is about ego, not providing better education.

Some say its about tuition, but ultimately its about power. Its about control, said Joyner.

The Board of Governors and the legislature both voted to raise tuition. A court battle is underway to decide who really has the final say. Florida already has the worst student to faculty ratio in the nation with 30 students to every tenured professor. University presidents say they need a tuition hike to hire more faculty. The University of Florida needs the extra money just to keep the lights on.

We need it to pay our bills so our students will have teachers in classrooms to give them the education they want, said Bernie Machen, President of the University of Florida.

Students are caught in the middle. They want a quality education, but not everyone wants to pay more to get it. Lawmakers want to raise tuition six percent. If the hike is approved, students would be paying an average of 200 dollars more a semester.

Posted in Education, Legislature, State News, Voting | 1 Comment »

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