U.S. Rep. Ron Kind today expressed his concern over the Board of Regent's decision to increase tuition across all UW System schools by 5.5 percent for the 2012-13 academic year.
"Repeated cuts to education in Wisconsin mean students pay more in tuition and graduate with more debt," said Rep. Kind. "Less state funding will mean fewer students able to afford college. This is detrimental to the future of our young people and detrimental to the economic success of our state."
Under Governor Walker, the UW System has had to absorb more than $250 million in cuts, some of the largest cuts in state history and the largest cut in education per pupil in the nation. He did this while providing nearly $1 billion in tax breaks to powerful special interests. His budget also makes a 30 percent reduction in investments in the technical college system. UW System President Kevin Reilly himself said the rate hikes are meant to help compensate for cuts in state aid. Not long ago, according to the UW System Fact Book, in 2000, the state provided 33 percent of the UW System's funding. In 2010, that number was down to 21 percent and for the 2012-13 school year, will be at 15 percent. Universities have had to find other sources of revenue to continue providing a high caliber education.
"The greatest threat we're facing as a state and as a nation is global competition," said Kind. "Making it more difficult and more expensive for our students to have the opportunity to develop the skills they need to be successful, is a recipe for economic decline for our state, rather than the economic renewal we need."