From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
November 10, 2008
Contact:Tiffany Champion, Office of Senator Van de Putte, (210) 733-6604

Senator Van de Putte Files Key Legislation Addressing Rising Costs in Higher Education

(AUSTIN) -- Today, State Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) filed two key pieces of legislation to help lower the costs of higher education for students and families.

S.B. 214 will limit the amount of tuition an institute of higher education charges a student to no more than five percent of the amount it charged the preceding academic year.

Five years ago, the legislature abdicated its duty in setting tuition rates to the different board of regent systems. Since such deregulation, tuition has risen over 50% statewide.

"Tuition deregulation has really hurt our students and families," stated Senator Van de Putte. "With these huge increases students are seeing their dream of a college degree turn into a nightmare. It is time to put a limit on tuition increases to ensure students continue to get the education they need to succeed in the Texas workforce."

"I understand that universities need to increase tuition in order to keep up with the rising cost of living, but doing so at exponential rates is unacceptable," Senator Van de Putte continued.

Senator Van de Putte also filed S.B. 215 which requires each institution of higher education to make the required instructional materials list available to students, their families, and the general public. It will also encourage them to open up more electronic opportunities for students to use their financial aid credit.

"Textbooks are expensive. In order to ensure our students can afford to buy books, we must give students other lower cost options," stated Senator Van de Putte.

"Our students have endured enough," Senator Van de Putte said. "It is time for the legislature to step up and ensure affordable higher education for the students and families of Texas."