Florida Officials Battle Over Right To Raise Tuition

Florida state Senate President Ken Pruitt has proposed a constitutional amendment that would take away the Board of Governors authority to set tuition rates and make other decisions for the state’s public universities, according to a report in The Miami Herald. The amendment would give such authority to an elected education commissioner, a position voters got rid of in 1998.

“I don’t want unelected officials determining the tuition rates that parents and students are going to pay,” said Pruitt.

In order to add the measure to the ballot, it must first be approved by the state Legislature. The first votes on the amendment were expected Wednesday, and it will take a three-fifths vote of each chamber to pass the amendment in the Legislature. The amendment would then have to be approved by voters in November by a margin of 60 percent.

Some worry that if the amendment passes it will make the state university system more likely to be influenced by political pressure. Others say that it will make university presidents and faculty targets of  “poaching” by other colleges.

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