Idaho’s State Board of Education will decide tomorrow whether to temporarily waive its rule that caps tuition and fee increases for state colleges and universities at 10 percent a year. It’s not that any school has proposed a larger increase; the board is being proactive and taking up the issue long before tuition for next year will be set in April. Board spokesman Mark Browning said the idea is to decide early whether the state’s higher education institutions should have more flexibility on that issue as they contemplate next year’s budget in a time of sharp state budget cuts and fast-growing student populations. This year, tuition and fee increases ranged from 7 percent at Lewis-Clark State College to 5 percent at Boise State University.
The board imposed the 10 percent cap out of concern that increases were getting out of hand in the early part of the decade, Browning said. But there’s also concern about cutting college offerings when enrollment is swelling. “It’s a very tough balancing act for the board,” he said.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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