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Amendment No. 2

October 27, 2016

Rachel Maxwell

Editor-In-Chief | ram049@latech.edu

MAXWELL

MAXWELL

 

With early voting having begun Tuesday, some Louisiana voters have cast their ballots for the next president of the United States. However, that is not all that is on the ballot for Louisianans.

 

Along with the presidential vote, this ballot includes picks for Vitter’s seat in the Senate, representatives in all six districts, Supreme court seats in two districts and six constitutional amendments.

 

While all of these items are important to the future of our state, one amendment on the ballot is of particular interest to college students.

 

Amendment No. 2 proposes deregulation of university tuition prices. This would remove the need for legislative approval to increase tuition and mandatory fees for public institutions.

 

In Louisiana’s current budget crisis, it is no secret that higher education is facing serious cuts. This amendment would give universities the freedom to raise prices to accommodate for those cuts.

 

What will this mean for college students? We can look to Texas for clues. The lone star state passed a similar amendment in 2003. Since the increase in tuition autonomy, students have seen major increases in costs.

 

In a traditional free market, deregulation may result in institutions having to lower costs to compete with one another. While originally presented as a way to increase competition, the unyielding demand for postsecondary education and the unending supply of student loans made the bill ineffective in this area. Because many universities turn away swaths of applicants every year, they do not fear hurting enrollment by increasing prices.

 

While this might seem like a good reason to vote against amendment No. 2, students should remember that a “no” vote does not come without a cost.

 

Universities have to get the money to operate from somewhere. If it isn’t coming from the state, and the institutions are not allowed to raise tuition and fees, the quality of university operations will inevitably go down.

 

Rachel Maxwell is a junior journalism major from Benton who serves as editor-in-chief for The Tech Talk.

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