Sen. Summerville To File Legislation Calling For College Tuition Freeze

Monday, July 22, 2013

State Senator Jim Summerville (R-Dickson) has announced plans to file legislation in the Tennessee General Assembly to freeze tuition at the current rates at state colleges and universities.  The announcement comes after the Tennessee Board of Regents and the University of Tennessee (UT) system recently adopted hikes in tuition ranging between three to six percent.

“The current increases are an outrage, especially in light of this year’s increase in appropriations to these higher education systems,” said Senator Summerville.  “No other governmental department consistently raises their costs to the taxpayers at such a high rate on an annual basis.”

The General Assembly approved a budget providing a $108.6 million increase for higher education, including $65.7 million in additional funds for the Tennessee Board of Regents, $37.6 million for the University of Tennessee system and $5.2 million for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.  A 2010-2011 study by the Bloomberg News College Board found that 56 percent of public four-year college students average $23,800 in student loans upon graduation.  

“Over the past decade, tuition at public colleges and universities has increased by an astounding 62 percent,” added Senator Summerville.  “These ever-increasing costs lead students to take out more loans, thus saddling themselves with debt that can take almost a lifetime to pay back.”

Senator Summerville said his legislation, the “Tennessee College Students’ Tuition Relief Act,” is currently in the drafting stage but will freeze tuition for several years.  He said bill will include cost reduction recommendations to help the state’s higher education system realize efficiencies.  This could include top-heavy administrative office expenses and excessive salary packages for college coaches.  

“Non-instructional cost is a good place to start in looking for savings,” added Senator Summerville.  “If we are going to meet our goals of raising our college graduation rates, we must get a handle on the rising costs. This legislation is a big step in the right direction to accomplish this.”



Representative Howell Completes UT Legislative Workshop

State Representative Dan Howell was among the first term Tennessee legislators who participated in a workshop offered by The University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service’s Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership and the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.  Rep. Howell represents District 22 which includes Polk, Meigs and much of Bradley County. The workshop, ... (click for more)

CGLA 6th Grader Wins In EPB Black History Poety Conest

One of our newest students at Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy is joining the ranks of award-winning CGLA Mustangs. Sixth-grader Abigail Stone won the 11th Annual EPB Black History Month Poetry Contest in the 6th-8th grade category. EPB received 372 entries overall in this year’s contest. Ms. Stone, an 11-year-old homeschool student who came to CGLA in January, ... (click for more)

Cabela's To Open Fort Oglethorpe Store May 13

Cabela’s announced Monday plans to celebrate the official grand opening of its new Fort Oglethorpe store on Wednesday, May 13, with a unique ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a weekend-long celebration featuring giveaways, family activities and more.  The ribbon-cutting ceremony, hosted by Cabela's executives and special guests, will begin at 9:45 a.m. and conclude with ... (click for more)

City Detective Who Was Arrested Twice In 4 Months Is Fired After Internal Affairs Investigation

A city detective who was arrested twice in four months has been fired by Police Chief Fred Fletcher. David Catchings had been charged with DUI last September and then with domestic assault at the end of the year. Police said, "After a complete review of both investigations – which included recommendations from Internal Affairs, the Administrative Review Committee and Officer ... (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye, Dr. Nassour

About 51 years ago, right after Jim Creel had graduated from the University of Texas and was in Guadalajara for medical school, he was surprised to find a complete stranger sitting on his battered and dusty Volkswagen. “He had seen my Longhorns sticker and was thrilled to find somebody else in Mexico who loved the University of Texas. “That’s when our friendship started and it ... (click for more)