University Officials Trying to get HB 7129 Passed - SLIDESHOW

By: Eyewitness News; Lanetra Bennett Email
By: Eyewitness News; Lanetra Bennett Email

[UPDATE] Tallahassee, Florida - April 12, 2012 - 6pm

Being efficient and on the cutting edge. They're a couple of reasons FSU's president wants to raise tuition.

Dr. Eric Barron is trying to get the governor to go for it. But, students aren't happy about it.

Paying more and getting less. FSU President Dr. Eric Barron says it's what's happening on campus because of budget cuts.

Dr. Barron says, "We want to move to the point where we say, we're going to charge you this, but, in return we're going to help you get your degrees faster and we're going to help you have access to better jobs."

Dr. Barron told Governor Rick Scott it's one of the benefits of raising tuition.

Dr. Barron and the University of Florida's president, Dr. Bernard Machen, met with the governor Thursday.

The two men tried to convince Scott to sign the Pre-eminence Bill.

The legislation would allow FSU and UF to raise tuition above the current 15 percent cap.

Dr. Barron says there's no set increase amount.

He says, "I'm going to say, okay, here's a faculty I need for entrepreneurship. That's $400,000. Here's the investment I want to make in S.T.E.M. and materials, and energy. That's what the cost is. So, I'm going to go to my trustees and the board of governors and say, to incentifize these programs, I need $8.2 million. This is the type of tuition increase that that is equal to."

Right now, tuition and fees at FSU are about $5,800 a year.

Dr. Barron says, "That is the lowest of all research universities in the country."

FSU Sophomore John Saullo says, "Students want to keep it that way. Unfortunately, right now in America, we have the most amount of student debt we've ever had. That's a growing concern. There's just other ways to get money into these programs without having to tax students."

Governor Scott has 15 days to make a decision after receiving the bill. On FSU's campus,


[UPDATE] Tallahassee, Florida - April 12, 2012 - Noon

FSU President Dr. Eric Barron teamed up with the president of the University of Florida. The two had a public meeting with Governor Rick Scott at the capitol inside of the chamber room.

The two university presidents are asking Governor Scott to sign a bill that would allow both schools to raise tuition above the current 15 percent cap. Dr. Barron says it would be a savings to tax payers and students because it would get students to graduate faster. The presidents say Floridians want a top 10 school in the state and this legislation could get them there.

Students, however, are against the bill. They say tuition hikes are the last thing they want to see. A group of students attended this morning's meeting. The students say that the bill is an injustice.
We're told Governor Scott has not received the bill yet. He has 15 days after receipt to come up with a decision.


Tallahassee, Florida - April 12, 2012 -

Presidents and administrators from FSU and UF are presenting information to Governor Rick Scott to try to convince him to pass HB 7129. Students oppose the legislation because it will increase tuition. Administrators say higher tuition is beneficial in the long run to students, the universities, and overall communities.



The Florida Alliance for Student Action (FASA) will be on hand from 8 AM-2 PM at the Capitol, Thursday, April 12th in the Cabinet Room to attend a public meeting with Governor Rick Scott and the UF and FSU presidents to discuss students' demand for the Governor to veto HB 7129, a bill if signed would allow UF and FSU to raise their tuition above the current 15% a year cap. Representatives from both UF and FSU including activists and regular students will be on hand to speak out against higher tuition.

Universities in Florida are currently able to raise their tuition by 15 % a year; an increase that is already impacting the ability for students to be able to afford tuition at Florida’s public schools. On Thursday, March 8th the Florida Senate passed HB 7129 which effectively allows the University of Florida and Florida State University to raise
their tuition above the current cap. These hikes of unprecedented size will make it increasingly difficult for working and increasingly middle class students to be able to afford tuition. This is especially true when placed in the context of drastic cuts to Bright Futures and the high unemployment rate in Florida.

Thousands of petition signatures have been collected already by FSU and UF students with students demanding that Gov. Scott veto this bill. FSU and UF students have made their positions known earlier as well in student referendums during SGA elections, in which they voted overwhelmingly against further tuition hikes, with 91%
and 87% of the vote respectively. As well, both FSU and UF student governments have passed resolutions, demanding that Gov. Scott veto this piece of legislation.

FASA is asking for Gov. Scott to keep his word and veto this bill and tuition hikes. As well, FASA is currently mobilizing students to continue calling into the governor's office to showcase opposition to HB 7129.

The Florida Alliance for Student Action was founded in the fall of 2011 as a response to the attacks on education by the Legislature, Board of Governors and the Governor in Florida. FASA is composed of student activists around the state fighting for education rights.

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  • by calm voice Location: tally on Apr 23, 2012 at 11:43 AM
    I noticed the rants about AP credit from "Distressed" et al. While I can see the reason to be afraid, I believe the writers are misinformed. The Bill in question allows for the universities to mandate a series of up to 12 hours that all freshmen must take regardless of AP credit, but (and this is critical) their previous credit will count toward final graduation hour totals so as not to delay graduation. That section of the bill was meant to make sure that these nationally recognized institutions could have all their students think and reason and be properly educated citizens and engender a loyalty to the institution. Many Colleges and Universities have a required First Year program to help students adjust and be more logical, ethical, capable, skilled, and moral citizens. Florida R1's are the cheapest in the nation (not 45th, that is a different class average) and this bill will likely only affect new classes. Short- sighted policy is what is dooming this state. We need a tiered university system with the money and freedom to support it. Someone has to pay for nationally-valued institutions.
  • by Distressed! Location: North Florida on Apr 14, 2012 at 12:53 PM
    Excited high school seniors have spent four years taking the academically rigorous courses advised by UF and FSU. AP courses, IB and AICE are all college level courses students take in high school so they can earn college credit if they pass the appropriate exams. Dual Enrollment is also an accelerator for students to earn college credit while in high school. Now with this piece of legislation, the students who got into FSU and UF for the 2012-13 school year by taking those rigorous classes and earning grades of A and B will not get the college credits for the courses under this bill. There is a clause in the bill stipulating that these universities can determine that incoming freshmen take particular courses that cannot be met via acceleration courses in high school. This is additional financial undermining for students on top of the limitless tuition increase. Students will now pay for classes they just clepped out of via AP, IB, AICE testing or Dual Enrollment-- because UF and FSU won't have to accept the credits any longer. This is not fair to students who were told they were earning college credit for ANY state school in Florida. The language reads that all of this goes into effect immediately once signed into law. SORRY high school graduates of 2012 who worked SO HARD to get these credits and financial savings in place. It truly is unfair if this is all passed into law.
  • by anonymous Location: tallahassee on Apr 13, 2012 at 07:24 AM
    where does it stop? raise tuition, raise gas prices, raise insurance rates, raise raise raise. the only thing not getting raised is salaries to cover all these increases. Putting a freeze on increases is what is necessary.
  • by Robert Location: Tallahassee on Apr 12, 2012 at 07:21 PM
    I like how nobody cares that this bill devalues AP credit. The media is attempting to pass the students off as the typical tuition protesters when in fact they are against section 7 of the bill which deals with AP credit. Also the bill allows tuition to be raised at "differentiated and market rates" not the 15% she plucked from the air.
  • by Jonathan Swift Location: Florida on Apr 12, 2012 at 03:35 PM
    This is a regressive tax on poor and middle-class families of Florida. Increased fees, my foot! This is a tax increase, folks, plain and simple. Scott should veto it, but will he? The deliberate underfunding of education is one of the goals of the GOP, after all.
  • by roe Location: Havana on Apr 12, 2012 at 01:13 PM
    That is a bad ideal towards students, but while they are thinking of it why don't they cut the Presidents salaries of those two University!
  • by Cant believe it on Apr 12, 2012 at 11:37 AM
    Yea these people raising this and raising that. Well nobody is raising the pay check. You will be lucky to get a job after you graduate and the rest of us they say we ought to be lucky we even have a job.
  • by Ughhh... So glad I graduate this year on Apr 12, 2012 at 11:23 AM
    So sick of this institution.
  • by Paul Location: Tallahassee on Apr 12, 2012 at 11:18 AM
    So we have the universities wanting to raise tuition, legislators wanting to give free tuition to illegal immigrants and university presidents getting ridiculous salaries while cutting departments and staff. Why stop at only 15%? Tuition is already out of reach for many students and their parents. We need a good uneducated labor force to work in Florida's non existent manufacturing plants.
  • by Professor on Apr 12, 2012 at 10:33 AM
    Sadly, your benefit is simply that the university can continue to function more or less as it has in the past. The state has taken away funding from the university year after year. Your tuition doesn't even begin to cover the actual cost of your education and related things such as maintaining the facilities and resources that you have at your disposal. These adjustments simply bring your tuition a little bit closer to covering the actual cost of your education, and help prevent the university from having to cut additional programs and services. If you have an issue with it, take it up with your elected officials, who keep cutting the education budget.
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