The state legislature deregulated college tuition in 2003. State Senator John Whitmire says Texas education costs are going up faster than the national average.
“We’ve experienced run-away increases. And it’s not only the tuition that you’ll notice that have been increased, it’s the fees, it’s the parking, it’s the books. They have literally made college unaffordable for many Texans.”
Whitmire notes that scholarship opportunities are not enough. State Representative Sylvester Turner says many students are turning to community colleges. He says the four year institutions should not be left just for the wealthy. Turner is proposing that the tuition deregulation bill be repealed.
“We need to return in many ways to the model that existed pre-2003. And the legislature needs to step up to the plate and fund colleges and universities to the level that they need.”
The lawmakers seeking the change say Texas will see the damage in the coming decades from not creating educational opportunities for the general public.
Capella Tucker, KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.