Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Not everything is a business

And not everything should be run as if it were a for-profit venture.

Sadly, this is the norm for Texas' public universities. The federal government has utterly failed to come up with anything new to bolster their claims of wanting a smarter and better trained workforce. Funding remains disparately low. The state of Texas has failed in it's duties to insure an available public education. Increasingly, our public schools are becoming private matters, available only to those who are already insured economic success.

In the last three and a half years, Texas Tech has increased tuition and fees by some 40%. This is completely wrong, and I know most Texans will agree with me.

But what can we do about it?

We need a complete paradigm shift. We need to get out of our current pro-business mentality. Let me be clear, I am not advocating against capitalism. It is history's greatest and fairest economic model, and best of all, it generates such abundant wealth that we can easily afford the Social state.

We can afford the great public trust that is a strong public education. It is more important than any other factor in helping our poorest citizens rise out of the basement of society and into the comfort and success of our middle class.

We aren't there yet. We keep inviting the business class in to run our Public Universities. Larry Anders, who was recently appointed a regent for Texas Tech by governor Perry is chairman and CEO of insurance firm Summit Alliance Co. He had the following to say about Tech:

In many respects, that's a big, big business out there - nearly a billion-dollar industry in and of itself--"Avalanche Journal 5/16/05"

As students of the Lakoff series, we all know how incredibly telling our choice of words can be. Those words tell me that Anders (and I don't mean to single him out) is not fit to be in charge of Texas Tech. The business mentality is completely unable to see the larger picture--so focused it is on making sure the ink is black, or at least not too red.

Since our schools' tuition rates have been effectively de-regulated, the State of Texas has not increased their commitment. Our tuition has indeed gone up, and sadly , the only body meeting the funding commitment is the student body.

But, it is getting harder, and they will not be able to keep it up much longer.


At 9:06 PM, Blogger johnnie said...

The 40% increase in tution fees is just the beginning of what the Texas legislature has done to college students and their families. Take a look at these same fees since 2001. It is a 73% increase. During my college years, tuition at Tech raised $47 a year. During my daughter's it gone up $2,663. I had to work an 15 additional hours each year to cover the increase. She would have to work 517!

How are families supposed to plan for college that almost doubles after your child has started? The Republicans are the prime example of a take and take society. It doesn't matter to them that they got to go to college at our expense. They are too selfish to think they own the next generation anything.

And if you are thinking my college years were 50 years ago, you are wrong. This is what a mere 20 years of Republican rule has done.

This website lists Tech's tuition since 1980. It should make everyone as angry and disappointed as I am.


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