Madison- The following statement was issued by Badger Advocates’ Executive Director Matt Kussow: “No one should confuse Governor Walker’s proposal for a five percent tuition cut with Bernie Sanders’ position on “free college.” A sizable gap exists, to say the least.
“What is in question, however, is the method applied for aligning the cost of going to college with the average Wisconsin family’s ability to afford tuition. State Representative Dale Kooyenga has proposed a practical approach. Allow the delegated authority, in this case the Board of Regents, to debate modest, inflationary-like increases to tuition to avoid the huge, double-digit increases from the past which Governor Walker points out as a problem.
“The four-year tuition freeze has been a tremendous benefit to UW students enrolled over the last four years. Similarly, the double-digit increase slapped on students in the past was an unfair “make-up” call. What we should avoid, is the drastic ups and downs.
“To be clear, however, a continued freeze, or worse yet a cut in tuition revenue, would hamper the UW’s mission and its standing as a premier research institution.
“We encourage the Governor and legislature to provide for predictable, cost-of-living increases and for the Board of Regents to judiciously use the flexibility to sustain our excellent system of higher education in Wisconsin. Governor Walker addressed the problem in previous budgets. Representative Kooyenga’s approach is the responsible path to embrace moving forward.”