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Monday, April 20, 2009

Stanley G. Tate wants to stop 15% increase

Here is his op-ed.

I've got to hand it to Mr. Tate for wanting to make college affordable to all Floridians. Here's the problem with his thinking. Even with a 15% increase in tuition, college does remain affordable in the state of Florida. Disproportionately so. A University education in Florida can be had on the cheap (or for free) thanks to the Bright Futures program. This program is also the same program that's going to kill the University of Florida system unless increased fees are approved. UF is poised to get hammered by the pending House budget. What good is a cheap education if the schools granting the degrees can't afford to provide you with a quality education?
Mr. Tate seems to think that quality can come cheaply. A good education requires top teachers and scholars. Those top teachers and scholars are running away from Florida because the legislature continues to underfund the Universities and because the cuts are causing the Universities to cut programs. Have a look at what UF and FSU propose if their funding comes in at 2009 House levels. A florida education may remain affordable, but its value in the market place will continue to fall. I can appreciate the need to educate Floridian's at the lowest cost possible, but we've been operating below the lowest cost possible for a long time. I salute Mr. Tate for his efforts to keep our educational system inexpensive, but I don't agree with his opposition to the 15% increase. Inexpensive is good, cheap is not.


Joe Meert


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