News Release
February 18, 2015
Contact: Tom Holloway
(512) 923-5944
Senator Schwertner Launches Petition Website to Support “Texas Tuition Freeze” Bill
Schwertner's SB 233 will cap college tuition at current levels and limit future increases in tuition and fees to no more than the rate of inflation. Schwertner plans to use the online petition to demonstrate the bill's broad-based support across the state of Texas.

AUSTIN — Today, Senator Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) launched a petition website -- -- in support of SB 233, a bill that will cap Texas tuition at current levels and limit any future increases in tuition and fees to no more than the rate of inflation.

“I’m launching to put a face on this effort and give a voice to the thousands of parents and students who continue to struggle with the skyrocketing cost of college tuition and fees,” said Schwertner. “I know this will be an uphill battle, but I'm confident we can be successful if Texans from across the state join together and make their voices heard.”

Since the legislature's decision to deregulate tuition in 2003, tuition and fees at Texas public universities have more than doubled (104%). The dramatic increase has far outpaced the rate of inflation and has placed increased pressure on students to assume greater and greater amounts of student loan debt. Student loans now represent the nation's second largest source of debt -- surpassing credit card debt and second only to mortgages. The average student borrower in Texas now graduates with over $24,000 in student loan debt, and as students struggle to repay the exorbitant cost of higher education, they have less money to purchase a home, start a small business, or otherwise contribute to the Texas economy.

“The pursuit of a higher education in Texas has never been more daunting, and as tuition and fees at our public universities continue to climb, the dream of attaining a college degree is becoming a nightmare for more and more Texas students,” said Schwertner. "I think the legislature has a responsibility to consider whether the policies enacted over a decade ago still make sense for Texas students."

Since filing SB 233, Schwertner has already received the strong support of fellow State Senators Konni Burton (R-Colleyville), Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay), and Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D-McAllen), in addition to groups like the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT). Last month, Representative Four Price (R-Amarillo) filed the companion bill, HB 921, in the Texas House of Representatives.

Schwertner is launching the petition to demonstrate support from across the state and recruit more legislators to join his fight for affordable college tuition in Texas.

"Attending one of our world-class public universities shouldn't be a luxury afforded only to the wealthy or those willing to mortgage their futures by assuming massive student loan debt,” said Schwertner. “It's time to provide affordable and attainable higher education for all Texas students."

Schwertner’s petition site asks visitors to sign the petition and tell their story about rising tuition costs. He plans to share the petition and selected stories with Senate and House leadership in the coming weeks. To read more about the bill and sign the petition, visit

In November 2014, Dr. Charles Schwertner was overwhelmingly reelected to serve the citizens of Senate District 5, a ten-county region of central and east Texas. Following the 83rd Legislative Session, Senator Schwertner was named a “Courageous Conservative” by the Texas Conservative Coalition, a “Lone Star Conservative Leader” by the Texas Conservative Roundtable, and “Senate Freshman of the Year” by Texas Monthly magazine.