Tuition Debate

Legislative Notes

Staff and Wire Reports
Tue, May. 03, 2005

A move to beat back rising tuition costs by reinstating the Legislature's power to cap tuition failed Monday on the floor of the House.

The measure, part of a surprise amendment to a higher education bill, was defeated on a technical point -- but not before lawmakers debated the pros and cons of tuition deregulation.

State Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, said tuition has soared out of the reach of people with modest incomes; and Rep. Paul Moreno, D-El Paso, pointed out that financial aid has not kept up with tuition increases.

But Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, chairwoman of the House Higher Education Committee, said current law mandates that at least 20 percent of every tuition increase go into financial aid -- and much of the money raised has been used to hire faculty.

"Tuition deregulation has been working well," she said.