The leaders of the Texas House and Senate have appointed members of an interim committee that will look into funding for higher education, and one key member of the committee says they will take a hard look at the skyrocketing cost of tuition at public universities, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"Are we doing enough through grants, through programs that are affordable, to keeping tuition level," State Rep Justin Rodriguez (D-San Antonio) says of the committee's goals.
The skyrocketing cost of college tuition has become a key 'coffee table' issue for many Texas families, along with the even higher costs of student debt, which now burden new graduates with debts of $50,000 or more.
A proposal by former Gov. Rick Perry for colleges to create a '$10,000 degree' appear to have generally fallen on deaf ears at state colleges. The average annual cost of attending the University of Texas today, or example, is about $25,000 for an in state student, about $11,000 a year of that going for tuition.
Rodriguez says lawmakers are neglecting their responsibilities if they don't do more to make education at a pubic college more affordable
."These are state institutions, how to we make them more accessible for our constituents."
But Rodriguez admits that this may not be the best time to address these issues, with the costs of Hurricane Harvey recovery expected to dominate any increases in the state budget for the coming 2019 session.