I can't say I was overly surprised last week when Texas Tech regents rubber stamped a tuition increase for the coming year.
But I do find it hard to believe this was a last resort. All but one regent voted to increase tuition by 5.9 percent in Lubbock and 9.9% in San Angelo. John Steinmetz was the only regent voting against both increases.
Although it sounds cliché, education really is the way to a better future. Couple that with the fact that it costs more than ever to get that education, and you've got a major dilemma.
I realize the state is funding less and less. I realize cuts are already being made at Texas Tech. But if raising tuition is the solution for covering the majority of state cuts, then I don't think we're thinking hard enough.
Tuition hikes should be the very last consideration. And I certainly disagree with any increase that exceeds inflation. I commend regent Steinmetz for being the lone voice for hard working families. Now it's time for real solutions. Unless regents start to speak up against increase after increase, we're going to end up right where we're headed: fewer kids getting educated instead of more.
This isn't just a Tech problem,; it's a problem statewide. We need smart visionary people to step up and speak up for middle class families. Those are the folks who will be denied a good education because they just can't afford it.
And, in a manner of speaking, that's something none of us can afford.
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