Texas lawmakers who want to slow or stop increases in tuition and fees at state universities have a good point.
The cost of higher education in Texas skyrocketed after the Legislature turned tuition-setting over to the boards of the different university systems in 2003.
State Sens. Rodney Ellis and Charles Schwertner have introduced bills to constrain tuition. But that would be a two-sided coin.
It would mean the Legislature would have to allocate more of the state budget so colleges and universities could make ends meet.
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That was the point of the change in 2003 — lawmakers decided the state should not shoulder that burden alone.
Universities still get a lot of state support, especially for facilities, but system regents decide how much to charge for tuition and set their budgets accordingly.
Colleges and universities must compete for students, and increasing tuition is not their first choice. But costs have gone up.
There is no reason to believe it would be any different if the Legislature were to take back responsibility for paying those costs.