Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pawlenty to go back on 2006 higher education promises

When Governor Pawlenty informed Minnesotans that he would utilize his unallotment powers to "balance" the state budget. One of the areas that will be hit hard by Governor Pawlenty's rash decision is higher education. Students and families across the state are bracing for another round of double digit tuition increases.

On the campaign trail back in 2006, Governor Pawlenty had this to say about the excessive tuition increases under his watch.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty acknowledged in a major policy address Tuesday that tuition costs at Minnesota's public colleges and universities rose too fast during his first term, and he promised to hold down further increases if he is reelected.

"The tuition-level increases were too high,'' he said in a speech at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute in Minneapolis. He added an explanation: "Keep in mind that we had a budget crisis of historic magnitude in 2003. It's now 2006, and we've gotten to the point where we are adding back to higher education, and we will again.''

Source: Startribune, July 26, 2006
He promised to hold down further increases if he was reelected. Yet, the higher education community will face some of the steepest cuts under Pawlenty's plan.

Kind of like that whole tax versus fee thing a few years ago isn't it.

And that's what ticks me off here, the shady ways of King Timothy James Pawlenty. With Pawlenty positioning himself for his political future, groups like college students will be political fodder.

During Pawlenty's first term, tuition at our state colleges rose nearly 70% and much higher at our community and technical colleges. The increases moved Minnesota from one of the most affordable states for higher education and into the Top 15 in the nation for tuition.

As recent as 2006, Minnesota earned a D when it comes to affordability of higher education.

And Governor Pawlenty wants to cut higher education?


eric zaetsch said...

An excellent analysis. You wrote up one of the biggest negatives of the man. I do not understand how the man gets so many free rides from the mainstream press. Nobody at Strib or PiPress seems ready to level with the public about how bad his approach is for Minnesota. He has been a disaster in too many ways to count.

However, there is one thing you did not emphasize loudly enough -- we should have no doubt that this will have "ripple effect" social repercussions.

It is not just an individual thing for those in the system and their being forced to endure great payment difficulties in gaining an education -- there will be widespread social impacts down the road.

I have heard disabling higher education characterized as "eating the seed corn." There is much truth to that. The man will be elsewhere when the full impacts are felt years from now, and others will be more immediately present to be blamed for what in effect will be a "Pawlenty fallout effect."

JLeuze said...

Big surprise, why would a Republican want smarter voters?