The Idaho State Board of Education will meet Wednesday and is likely to approve proposed 2008 legislation, including a measure that would allow community colleges to double their tuition limit to $2,500 annually to cover the rising cost of education.
Current Idaho law limits community college tuition to $1,250 annually, about a quarter the cost of fees and tuition at the state’s four-year schools.
The two-year College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls and North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene are approaching the existing tuition limit. The new College of Western Idaho, slated to start in January in Nampa, would also be under the same restriction.
Education board spokesman Mark Browning said it’s unlikely the colleges would double their tuition if the 2008 Legislature approves lifting the cap at least not immediately. Still, as the price of education rises and taxpayers in community college districts balk at their burgeoning portion of the bill, schools want to have more options, Browning said.
“They need some flexibility to be able to raise tuition as the market is going up,” he said.
This measure and others to be considered by the education board would still have to be approved by lawmakers in the 2008 Legislature.
Other proposed legislation to be considered Wednesday includes:
Increasing annual proceeds from Idaho state liquor stores that go to community colleges to $600,000, from $300,000. Should this pass, Idaho’s three community colleges would receive $200,000 a year, up from the $150,000 that NIC and CSI currently receives. The amount hasn’t been increased in 25 years, according to the education board.
And a proposal to give officials at Boise State University, Idaho State University and Lewis-Clark State College increased autonomy over some construction and repair projects valued at up to $1.5 million, up from a $100,000 limit now.
– Associated Press
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