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,

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[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.

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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.

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Release

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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