Texas

$1 billion for universities in exchange for tuition freeze

Since December 2022, when a record $27 billion (now $33 billion) state budget surplus was revealed, statesmen and statesmen from across the political spectrum have shared their thoughts on how to rid the state of excess money.

From funding public education to investing in road and highway infrastructure, from property taxes to fixing the state’s much-maligned electricity system, there’s no shortage of ideas. And not only legislators make proposals.

Two of the most popular ideas include the property tax exemption advocated by Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and education funding. With different priorities in mind, both Texas universities and teacher unions are seeking to increase education funding.

According to Texas Standard, The Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA), the state’s largest teacher union, advocates for better school funding, not forgetting teacher and staff salaries in a sector facing widespread shortages.

“We know we have representatives on both sides who support our public schools, especially in our rural communities where they feel school districts need to get really creative in making sure they have teachers in front of students so that they are programs that need funding,” said TSTA President Ovidia Molina. Texas Standard.

According to Texas Tribune, In December, as the state’s first surplus estimates were being discussed, the presidents of six Texas universities sent a letter to Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dade Phelan, Senate Finance Committee Chair Joan Huffman, and House Finance Committee Chair Greg. Bonnen. They asked for more funding for employee health insurance, regional public universities, and the Hazlewood Legacy program, which provides free education for military veterans and their families.

The letter was signed by James Milliken of the University of Texas System, John Sharp of the Texas A&M University System, Renu Hathor of the University of Houston System, Michael R. Williams of the University of North Texas System, Tedd Mitchell of the Texas Institute of Technology. University System and Brian McCall of the Texas State University System.

In exchange for the nearly $1 billion investment that the Texas university system is asking the state for, these chancellors are proposing a tuition freeze for all undergraduate students for the next two academic years.

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