LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The long battle over who should regulate the cost of higher education in Louisiana may soon come to end. On November 8, Constitutional Amendment No. 2 is up for a vote.
According to the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, a vote for the amendment would allow higher education management boards to be the decision maker when it comes to tuition and fees for public universities and colleges.
The basics of Constitutional Amendment No. 2 is quite simple – yes or no — should state legislators continue to have a hand in the price of higher education. Some believe it would be difficult to hold a board member accountable. “If we leave it with our elected officials and if they keep raising our school tuition, then we always have the option of voting them out,” says student Phillip Wortman.
“Leaving it with the universities would leave more room for corruption,” adds student Clint Guillory. University of Louisiana at Lafayette Political Science Professor Dr. Pearson Cross says the state Board of Regents that would do the tuition setting would be appointed by the governor and thus keeping politics at the table.
“The question is what’s best for the student, what’s best for the higher education and the state, and what’s going to make our system run better?” says Dr. Cross,
Dr. Cross says there’s also the concern the price of education would increase too much with a university board; that lower income students would be priced out. Some believe keeping public lawmakers at the helm would help control that.
“Some people have said we need that. We are a state where there are lots and lots of people who are poor, who are lower income, and they need someone looking out for them and keeping tuitions low,” explains Cross.
With every no there’s a yes. Some people support universities and colleges price setting even if that would perhaps include different rates for different degrees like engineering or nursing. Keep in mind, a school short on funds could be a school lacking in services.
“I feel like lawmakers shouldn’t have the right to tell universities what it should be,” says a student.
“I say we should leave it with the state because if we leave it with universities they will probably try to ante it up a little bit. That’s in my opinion,” says a student.