Written by: William Lutz
Americans for Prosperity Texas held a news conference commemorating the first day of school. Several college students came and discussed their concern about student debt and rising college costs. “College debt is taking over our generation not just in Texas, but across the nation,” said Chris Covo, director of AFP Foundation’s youth outreach America’s Next Impact and recent graduate of Texas State University. AFP’s Texas state director Peggy Venable called on university administrators to “take their heads out of the sand” and support reform that stops spiraling costs.
A video of the news conference can be found here.
Representatives or officers of FreedomWorks, the Young Conservatives of Texas, and the College Republicans appeared at the news conference. The FreedomWorks paper on Texas higher education reform can be viewed here.
AFP and FreedomWorks are circulating petitions calling for making classroom instruction the top priority in higher education, more transparency in university budgeting, and less student debt.
In Texas, several members of university boards of regents have been in a highly public battle over higher education reform. The University of Texas System Board of Regents is meeting Aug. 24-25, and higher education reform is one of the topics on the agenda.
During the legislative session, a lot of the debate over higher education reform centered over how valuable academic research is and whether it is more of a priority for universities than teaching. Press conferences like AFP’s are attempting to place a human face on one of the problems with the status quo in higher education – rising cost and student debt. (AFP’s materials note that total student loan debt now exceeds credit card debt.)
AFP has also set up a website on the topic:
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