Another major education issue that hit close to home Thursday was skyrocketing tuition increases at state universities.Bell said Texans have watched as higher education was unregulated and tuition went up anywhere from 30 to 100 percent.
“Why would you make college less affordable at a time when more jobs than ever before require a college education,” he said.
Traveling with Bell was Cindy Gonzalez, a former higher education director for Rick Perry and, up until this year, a Republican.
Gonzalez said she’s supporting Bell because he is the only candidate truly committed to higher education.
Gonzalez said she has nothing against Perry, and thinks he’s a fine man, but she said that did not change the fact that his administration failed Texas students and broke promises when tuition was deregulated and state schools were underfunded.
“And if I don’t stand up for those students now,” she said, “I will feel like I failed them as well.”
If elected, Bell said he would first re-regulate college tuition to help get control over tuition. He said he would also bring back the Texas Tomorrow Fund and make textbooks tax-free.
When I entered UT Austin way back in 1984, my student loan paid for my room and board and my Pell Grant covered my tuition. I worked part-time to cover my books which was usually more than my tuition. That isn’t going to happen today. When you vote on Tuesday, you might consider if you are so much better off today that the increases in college tuition don’t affect you.