Editorial: Vote yes on Amendment 2 Nov. 8

We recommend a yes vote on Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 2, which you’ll see on the Nov. 8 ballot. It’s time to get the politics out of our classrooms. Right now, politicians control decisions about our colleges and universities. They claim to want these schools to operate more efficiently and more business-like, yet they tie their operations down at every turn with overly burdensome and intrusive regulations.
In fact, Louisiana is the only state in the country that requires the legislature to have a two-thirds vote of the entire legislative body to adjust tuition. And we are one of only two states that require legislative approval at all – the other being Florida. It’s not surprising to note that Louisiana and Florida both also fund their higher education systems at the lowest levels in the nation as well.
To have legislative involvement in tuition decisions brings politics into an equation that should be between students and their universities. And to what benefit? Our state ranks near last in degree attainment and higher education funding. Louisiana students deserve high quality colleges and universities, and they shouldn’t have to leave our state to find them. We must stop Louisiana’s brain drain, and supporting our colleges and universities are one major step toward solving that problem.
Amendment No. 2 would return tuition authority to higher education management boards. This authority resided with these boards for more than 130 years until 1995, when a fairly vague constitutional amendment regarding fee propositions was expanded to include tuition. During that 130 year period, college and university management boards kept costs low for their students, because those groups work closely with their own constituents and understand the needs and demographics of their student base.
We’ve tried it their way for more than 25 years, and it’s only taken us closer to the bottom. It’s time to try something new – or at least, new to us. Vote yes on Amendment No. 2, and let’s get the politicians out of our colleges and universities..
Editorials represent the opinions of this newspaper, and not of any one individual.

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