I watched the Education subcommittee hearing on the Web this morning, and Kolkhorst and Branch wanted to know a lot more about higher ed funding–and, in particular, funding that has not previously been regarded as within the Legislature’s oversight–than the LBB has been providing. For example, they regard PUF funding as part of the taxpayer support for universities. It was clear to me that the purpose of their requests for more info from LBB was to show that state support is considerably higher than the percentage as it is currently calculated (at UT, 21.9%)–and, therefore, the “need” for tuition dereg is less than the institutions have claimed. (As I write, Kolkhorst is asking A&M’s Mike McKinney about fees.) Here’s the end game, as pronounced by Kolkhorst (who now is saying that she helped pour $300 million into
higher ed in conference to help stop tuition increases “and it didn’t help at all”): “We get blamed when tuition goes up. We’re going to try to stop the bleeding.” Alert, alert!