Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | MARCH 29, 2012 6:30 AM

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House GOP irresponsible

The Iowa House of Representatives' budget proposal ignores the needs of higher education in the state of Iowa. During the debate over an education-appropriations amendment on Tuesday, Rep. Cecil Dolecheck, R-Mount Ayr, stated that "we just can't afford" to properly fund the regents and Iowa community colleges.

Dolecheck needs to be reminded that education is an investment in the future. The investment begins at the preschool level and continues all the way to higher-education institutions such as the University of Iowa. The UI alone pumps about $6 million back into Iowa communities. Many Democratic House members pointed out Tuesday that the Hall Amendment (an amendment that secured funds for community colleges) is essential for Iowans. Community colleges not only help prepare students for success at four-year universities, they also provide vital job training and technical skills to build the Iowa workforce.

The recent tuition freeze that was proposed by House Republicans was merely a political stunt to force Democrats into a corner on either supporting the dangerous tuition freeze or vote against it and be labeled as wanting to raise tuition. That is just not the case. House Democrats know the importance of education to Iowa and that it is simply irresponsible to allow decreased funding for regent universities while not allowing the institutions to raise tuition to offset the new budget.

Speak up to our lawmakers in Des Moines and let them know they need to invest in UI.

Will Reasoner
UI Hawkeye Caucus

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