FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2006
AUSTIN -- The costs associated with higher education are burdensome. Escalating tuition and textbook costs affect not only students working toward their degrees in higher learning, but also future students considering the feasibility of costs associated with four- and two-year institutions. As the cost of attending college increases, it is important to provide financial support to promote student participation, access to education and overall student success.
This is why I authored legislation during the 2005 Regular Legislative Session and the 2005 and 2006 Special Sessions to establish two 10-day periods during which students could purchase textbooks tax-free. Students and I were delighted that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst supported this effort and that he highlighted the legislation during his daily post-session news conference.
According to the College Board, textbooks cost students at four-year institutions an average of $843 per year and students at two-year institutions an average of $745 per year. These are incredible costs, and our students need suitable relief so they can focus on working toward a timely graduation. Today (Sept. 5) students at The University of Texas at Austin are rallying for financial relief from high-priced textbooks. Many of them supported my Senate Bill 222 and related legislation, and some of them testified in its favor. Accordingly, I look forward to working with them to pass the bill that I will file anew for the legislative session that convenes on Jan. 9.
As the newly appointed Chair to the Senate Subcommittee on Higher Education, I remain committed to ensuring that higher education remains affordable and accessible for all deserving students.