Friday, December 26, 2008

URI Tuition Hikes

Tuition: $3,727; Required Fees $ 972; Total $4,699.00 (one term)

Of course, parking (a few hundred$), transportation, food, travel, books (figure $600) are all extra.

A recent Projo column contribution bemoaned the State's seemingly lack of interest in URI. "...20% of all Rhode Island residents with a four year degree graduated from URI." In 1970 the State "funded 50% [and] 11 % now."

More and more programs are being targeted to out-of-staters who pay a tuition of $24,776.

"Labor economist Paul Harrington recently told Governor Carcieri's forum on Rhode Island's ailing economy, 'Education is our pathway to economic prosperity.'"

I've blogged on this many times before. We should also be funding research at URI to use for economic stimulus ideas. Instead, we do the opposite- slash URI funding while cutting income taxes for our wealthiest residents. Some message to our students. More trickle down malarky for our public. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I've decided that I keep asking the wrong question: "How stupid do they think we are?" It should be augmented with: "How stupid are they?" Expecting a part-time lege to come up with better ideas than we do is just that- stupid on both sides. Rep. Jackson (D-Newport, Midd.) hit the nail on the head, “... a part-time legislature is not a nimble and creative entity...” Well said. Really, how nimble & creative are you after a full day of work?

While NDN columnist "Politically Incorrect" Joe Baker was hopeful that early lege House Finance hearings would be a "good start" in addressing budget woes, I'm far less optimistic. Says Joe whose former weekly column of Statehouse activities was deep-sixed last year, "...members of the committee spend countless hours in budget hearings, earning every cent of their $14,000 legislative paycheck." I've been to some of these hearings. They were sparsely attended by committee members. In fact, they just made quorum with the Chair (and others) leaving after department heads spoke. Kinda got the impression that it's all decided beforehand with most members just playacting. When Chair Constantino speaks, you'd best listen. And if the NDN doesn't care what happens at the Statehouse, what chance do the rest of us have in keeping informed? But they don't really matter up in Prov., do they?

Yup, expect more tuition raises like this one which is up from the first term. Expecting your son or daughter to be guaranteed a place at our local university? You'd best rethink this strategy along with affordable costs (don't forget those damn fees). It doesn't even work that well now.

The Pro article was signed by URI professors, students, & alumni. Thanks for writing it.
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