A Minnesota state senator today introduced a bill that would temporarily freeze tuition at the state's public colleges and universities.
It's a tricky one, as the public systems set their tuition independent of the Legislature. The U, in particular, would argue that this bill violates its separate constitutional status.
Here's the release:
(ST. PAUL) – State Senator John Carlson (R-Bemidji) introduced legislation today that calls for a temporary freeze and permanent tuition increase limitations for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) and University of Minnesota institutions. The bill, Senate File 268, would put in place a two-year tuition freeze and an increase limitation thereafter.
Senator Carlson, a member of the Senate Higher Education Committee, said Wednesday, “In our current financial crisis, we must seek responsible government reform. With this bill, our Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and University of Minnesota systems will need to make true structural reform to push revenue to the classrooms and reduce administrative overhead.”
Senate File 268 calls for a tuition freeze at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and University of Minnesota for academic terms commencing between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2013. After that two year period, tuition increases from one academic year to the next may not exceed the annual percentage increase in inflation.
What do you think of the idea? What would be the benefits -- and the drawbacks? Do you think the state ought to have more control over the public systems as they set tuition?