Senator Whitmire Tackles Tuition Hikes

 

Senator John Whitmire Tells Universities Enough is Enough

Austin, Texas — In a letter sent today to the University of Houston System, Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston) expressed his strong opposition to proposed tuition increases for UH students.

“I realize our universities are responding in part to a directive from the state leadership to submit a plan to cut 5 percent of their state funding over the remainder of the biennium, but enough is enough,” stated Whitmire. “We cannot continue to ask our already strapped universities to do more with less and certainly not on the backs of our students.”

News of a proposed 3.95 percent tuition hike at the University of Houston matches the proposed increase at the University of Texas. It is likely that many other universities across the state will respond with similar increases. Last session, legislators passed a non-binding resolution urging universities to cap annual tuition increases at 4 percent.

“I was adamantly opposed to tuition deregulation when it passed the Legislature in 2003,” Whitmire stated. “It was one of the worst bills we have passed in my 37 years as a legislator and given the outrage around the state, I am willing to bet most of my colleagues agree with me.”

“Increased tuition combined with higher fees, costlier books, and a sagging economy is pricing Texans out of higher education,” commented Whitmire. “Texas families cannot bear the increased burden especially when many families and students are struggling to pay current tuition and fees at our universities.”

“I am urging university officials, faculty, and students to join me in demanding a freeze on tuition increases,” Whitmire said. “It is time the State of Texas steps up to the plate and makes higher education funding a top-priority.”

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