Gov. Rick Scott urges university trustees to hold tuition flat
Gov. Rick Scott, having vetoed budget provisions for a 3 percent tuition increase, on Friday reiterated his stance to university trustees.
In a letter to the the chairmen of all 12 university boards, Scott stressed that he considered a tuition hike akin to a tax increase on Florida families. He said the cost of a university education should remain affordable, and urged the presidents to join his opposition to higher costs.
"This is a worthy battle, you have all the tools to win the battle, and I would be proud for you to join me in our fight to hold the line on tuition," he wrote.
Read on for Scott's full letter to the university chairmen.
"We have been informed that you are asking for guidance on my position regarding a possible tuition increase. As you know, I vetoed the Legislature’s recommended three percent tuition increase from the budget because I oppose increasing tuition, as it would essentially be a tax increase on Florida families.
"I have consistently fought to hold the line on tuition, and to stop any tax increases, in Florida. Higher education should be affordable so it is accessible to as many Florida families as possible. Some say we should not fight against increasing tuition. Some say if we do fight, we won’t win. I want to be clear on this: we absolutely will fight to hold the line on tuition in Florida. This would be a tax increase on our families that must be stopped. We don’t want a three percent increase or even a one percent increase in tuition on our students.
"As with many matters that come before us, I know there are several legal opinions concerning who would implement a tuition increase and how they would go about doing it. Again, we are committed to fighting against any tuition increase in Florida. We should be proud that our state offers affordable tuition and a high quality education, just as we are proud to have no state income tax. Higher education is the key that unlocks the door to future opportunities for thousands of Florida students. The more affordable we make tuition, the easier it is for students to access a great higher education experience. This is a worthy battle, you have all the tools to win the battle, and I would be proud for you to join me in our fight to hold the line on tuition."