Three bills granting tuition discounts and waivers for various groups passed in the House Education Committee this morning. Most of these bills will now go for hearings in the House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee.
While well intentioned, tuition discounts and waivers have the effect of unfunded mandates on public colleges and universities. Since no state funding is typically provided to accommodate the proposed discounts and/or waivers, costs must be recouped through the institution’s tuition rate. This ultimately places a larger tuition burden on the institution’s student population.
The bills that passed in the House Education Committee today include:
SB543/HB283: Allows the children of retired teachers’ who are under 24 years of age to receive a 25% discount at any state-operated institution of higher learning; provided, that the parent retired with 30 years of full-time creditable service in Tennessee public schools or received disability retirement after a minimum of 25 years of full-time creditable service in Tennessee public schools.
SB402/HB305: Allows children of the director of schools of any LEA in Tennessee to receive a 25 percent discount on tuition to any institution of higher learning.
SB1164/HB887: Permits retired state employees to take one class without charge per semester at public institutions of higher education. Allows a spouse of a state employee to receive a 25% discount on tuition at public institutions of higher education.
Updates will continue to be provided as these bills move through the legislative process.Tags: tuition discounts, tuition waivers