IOWA SENATE NEWS RELEASE
State Senator Herman Quirmbach, 515-292-8984
For Immediate Release: June 8, 2017
State Senator Herman Quirmbach, ranking Democrat on the Senate Education Committee, said Republicans in charge of state government must reverse course to keep higher education affordable for Iowa families.
Quirmbach’s comments follow today’s vote by the Board of Regents to increase tuition at Iowa’s three state universities this fall. Previously, the Regents had approved a modest 2-percent increase for 2017-18, conditional on a matching 2-percent increase in state funding. Instead, the Republican-controlled Legislature cut state funding by more than $30 million.
With today’s action, the 2-percent tuition increase balloons to a 5-percent increase for most in-state undergraduates. At ISU, instead of an increase of $142, next year’s tuition will rise by a whopping $358.
“Affordable access to higher education is more than ever a critical piece in achieving a middle-class standard of living. Our Republican-led state government has not done its part to keep the door to college open for average Iowans,” Quirmbach said. “We must do everything we can to ensure that average kids are not priced out of an education or burdened with crushing student debt that prevents them from ever getting ahead.
“Iowa businesses, too, depend on an increasingly skilled workforce,” said Quirmbach, noting that 68 percent of all Iowa jobs are expected to require education and training beyond high school by 2025. “Making college unaffordable is the worst thing we can do to Iowa businesses when the number one problem facing those businesses is a critical shortage of qualified workers.”