Missouri’s Tuition Maneuvers Are Nothing New

There’s an update to the story from last week about the governor of Missouri’s decision to freeze tuition at the state’s colleges and universities. The Democratic governor, Jay Nixon, got college leaders to agree to the freeze to compensate for a “modest” 5.2 percent cut in state funding. But the governor’s opponents in the state legislature argue that the success of this agreement is deceptive, and legislative maneuvers to fund higher education are nothing new. According to an article in the Springfield News-Leader:

Republicans are pointing to a 2007 law they enacted that caps annual tuition increases at the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation.

“The tuition cap is already in place, so this is not doing anything new,” said Sen. Scott Rupp, R-Wentzville.

“The so-called ‘tuition caps’ in Senate Bill 389 provide far more fuel for political sound bites than actual protection for students and their families,” Nixon, then the attorney general of Missouri wrote to his predecessor, Gov. Matt Blunt.

Nevertheless, Missouri expects Nixon’s tuition freeze to become law, at least in part because they’re reluctant to come up with more complicated funding measures for higher education.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer