26 January 2010

Legislature 2010: Higher Education

The House of Delegates has passed a bill that would revamp West Virginia's approach to planning and paying for maintenance, new buildings and other capital projects at its public colleges and universities.

As The Associated Press reports, the measure's provisions include one that "calls on the schools’ governing boards to craft and then stick with 10-year campus development plans."

Lawmakers have studied the issue for several year, and the bill send to the Senate 92-1 was endorsed by the interim Joint Standing Committee on Education.

"The measure includes no new money for these needs," the article notes. "But it says that student fees can no longer shoulder the burden alone."

"Delegate Pat McGeehan opposed the bill," AP reports. "The Hancock County Republican said West Virginia has wrongly been subsidizing its colleges and universities, and keeping their tuition artificially low."

The House-passed bill follows a legislative audit that, among other findings, questioned whether West Virginia needed all 11 of its public four-year colleges and universities.

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