The Florida Democrats have been attacking Republicans for cuts to higher education and tuition increases. And as Lynn Hatter reports Wednesday Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith and former Governor Bob Graham raised the issue alongside university students.
The Republican-led legislature cut $300 million dollars from the state’s public university system this year and tuition rates have been climbing. Democrats say the state’s decision to cut higher education funding shows a lack of support for the state’s schools.
“Nothing reflects your values more than a budget. You can say what you care about. But in the end, however you take and spend your money, that tells you what you value," said Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith.
And former Democratic Governor Bob Graham says the state’s economy is directly tied to the quality of its public universities.
“We can’t continue down this course if we aspire to be a state that will be seen by young people as a state where they aspire to plant their personal flag.”
Despite years of hikes, Florida still has one of the lowest tuition rates in the nation. Graham is also a party to a long-running tuition lawsuit that’s set to go before the Florida Supreme Court Thursday. Justices will decide whether the legislature or the state university governing board has the authority to set tuition.
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