Louisiana state Rep. Franklin Foil, R-Baton Rouge, is proposing a constitutional amendment to give colleges and universities more control over raising fees.
In a statement Monday, Foil said that the goal is “to give our colleges more stability and control over their budgets.”
Autonomy is among the top priorities for higher education leaders heading into this year’s legislative session, which begins April 13.
Louisiana is the only state where two-thirds of the Legislature must sign off on increases in college tuition or fees.
Higher education leaders have for several years tried to gain flexibility over tuition and fees. Facing deep cuts to college and university funding in the coming year, leaders are again pushing for more autonomy.
The proposed constitutional amendment would require a vote of the people, if it passes the state Legislature.
University of Louisiana System President Sandra Woodley said autonomy would provide more long-term stability for colleges.
“The goal of autonomy is not necessarily to raise tuition, but to have the flexibility for the future,” she said during a recent budget update.
The more immediate need, she said, is to identify sources of revenue to stave off cuts this year.
“Higher education cannot take one more cut,” she said. “The bottom line is higher education needs $1 billion for there not to be a cut.”