Florida Speaker Promises Money to Higher Education, Talks Tuition Hikes

By: Lanetra Bennett
March 28, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - The Speaker of the House says Florida is ranked 48th when it comes to college tuition. He says that's why tuition increases cannot be taken off the table.

FSU student Courtney Johnson says a job helps, but, says she still doesn't want tuition to go up. "It's really hard to have tuition go up."

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford says after five years of tuition increases, a double-digit tuition hike would not be viable. But, he says there should be an increase.

"We believe six percent is a responsible number." He says.

Weatherford says the amount that the average college student in Florida pays in out-of-pocket costs every year, is about the same amount they pay for their cell phones.

Weatherford says, "We think to just take tuition off the table and ignore the fact that we're ranked so low and ignore the fact that our students are spending more on cell phones to some extent than they are on tuition, is not right."

During the Board of Governors meeting at FAMU Thursday, Weatherford also said that the legislature plans to restore the $300 million that it took from university budgets last year.

He says it'll be given back in the way it was taken. For FAMU, that's $19.8 million.

FAMU Interim President Dr. Larry Robinson says, "It was in so many different places. So, we took it out of our reserve without any regard to whether it came out of this program or that program. So, it's really important that we don't have to deal with that issue when it comes back."

An FSU spokesperson says FSU took the lion's share of that $300 million cut. The university lost more than $65 million.

Weatherford says the House is willing to negotiate the six percent tuition increase with the Senate and the Governor.

By: Lanetra Bennett
March 28, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - House Speaker Will Weatherford told the Board of Governors that the Florida Legislature will be giving back the $300 million it took from the higher education system. During this morning's BOG meeting, Weatherford also announced an additional $65 million will be given.

Legislators made the one-time $300 million budget cut. FAMU took a $19.8 million hit. FAMU Interim President Dr. Larry Robinson says the university will get its same portion back.

Tallahassee, FL – House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel) will provide brief remarks at the Florida Board of Governors meeting at Florida A&M University on Thursday in Tallahassee.

What: Speaker Weatherford’s remarks to the Florida Board of Governors

When: Thursday, March 28, 2013

9:30 a.m.

Where: Grand Ballroom, Student Union

Florida A&M University

Tallahassee, FL

The Speaker will discuss his proposal for online learning in higher education and funding in the House’s FY 2013-14 budget.

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