Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Increasing student fees harms furthered education

     Tuition rates for all of Florida's public universities can now be increased by 15 percent, the maximum allowable amount. This was a result of the decision by the Florida Board of Governors last Thursday, and marks the third consecutive increase in state tuition rates.

     Drastic budget cuts to education are to blame for the increase, but the long term affects are going to be far worse for the state’s overall education standards. The argument has been made that Florida has one of the lowest tuition rates in the country, currently 48th, but Florida was ranked number one last year as the state with the highest rising cost of living expense.

     Most working class people are under-employed and are experiencing little to no increase in annual salaries, while the cost of living continues to rise. In this economic climate, current students are more likely not to pursue extended degree programs.

     The State government needs to be fiscally responsible, but also balanced with the decisions they make concerning budget and maintaining an eye toward economic growth. Less funding lowers the quality of education, and produces fewer students who are able to seek a higher education. That correlates with a lower standard in the overall quality of life.

     Quality education is imperative for the continued growth of our nation’s economy. Education is the backbone of new industry and financial growth and should be encouraged, not stymied.

By James Tutten
info@jamestutten.com

(Published: June 29, 2011 issue of "Valencia Voice" on page 6.)

(Above photo courtesy of Times-Herald.com)

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