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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida's higher education system looking down, House chairman Proctor says

From the Associated Press:

The quality of Florida's state universities is bound to erode due to spending cuts and a veto of a proposal to allow steeper tuition increases at two schools, the House Education Committee's chairman said Thursday at a meeting of the Higher Education Coordinating Council.

Rep. Bill Proctor, though, urged the schools to put the veto aside and set funding priorities that match their diverse missions.

The Legislature this year cut state university funding by $300 million, the latest in a series of reductions.

Gov. Rick Scott then vetoed a bill that would have let the state's top two research schools - the University of Florida and Florida State University - raise tuition more than the 15 percent per year allowed under existing law to help those schools improve their national academic rankings. Scott said he was worried that raising tuition rates would increase student debt at a time when many graduates are facing dim job prospects.

"That's certainly his prerogative, but at some point we are going to have to address how we're going to fund the state universities and, of course, the community and state colleges," Proctor said. "At some point, if not now already, our quality is going to begin to erode. It's inevitable. It can't be helped."

Read more here. How worried should Floridians be about the status of their higher education system?

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 4:59pm]


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