Supporting higher education

The Legislature should pass the House version of the higher education funding bill.

The numbers say it all. The House version of the higher education funding bill would be more beneficial for the University of Minnesota and its students and faculty by providing more aid to the University during a financially burdening time in the schoolâÄôs history. The Senate version of the bill proposes a $54.8 million cut to the UniversityâÄôs funding for the 2010-11 years. The House version of the bill provides more in stimulus funding, ultimately resulting in a smaller cut, which would also decrease the 7.5 percent in tuition increase to about 3 percent or roughly $300 per year for each student. The House version invests more funding in the University than Gov. Tim PawlentyâÄôs plan. In the 2012-13 biennium, the University would get $89 million more than it would under PawlentyâÄôs version, which has potential to result in greater tuition increases. Even the UniversityâÄôs Chief Financial Officer Richard Pfutzenreuter said in a Minnesota Daily article that the House bill is a good one for the school. But more importantly, it is a bill that invests more funds into the school and its projects, which could stimulate the Minnesota economy âÄî the very purpose of the stimulus funding. Furthermore, the House version has provisions in the bill that would also be beneficial to students, such as requiring the University to sell alcohol to everyone of legal age, not only those in premium seating at TCF Bank Stadium. We call on the Legislature to keep students and the best interest of the University in mind when voting on the versions and funding proposed. Our vote goes to the House version.