Legislators and Students Await Governor’s Speech
Out on the lawn in front of the towering University library, students at Oklahoma State University know the value of a diploma.
“Opportunity to support myself and to live a lifestyle that I want to live,” said one sophomore.
A freshman echoed her thinking.
“If you don’t have a degree, that’s what sets you aside when you’re looking for a job. Most people won’t hire anybody if they don’t have any kind of degree.”
Students at OSU are paying more for the chance to move up in the world. A majority of state schools in Oklahoma hiked tuition rates this year to cover the gap left by state budget cuts.
“With everything like recession and college going up, everyone’s having to go back to school so they can get jobs now because you can’t get a job now without a college education,” said Langen.
Oklahoma State junior Josh Wilson noticed the jump in tuition. He wants help from the state.
“More money should come because students want to get their education,” said Wilson. “That’s why they come here.”
Despite the setting, today’s town hall will touch on all aspects of education. James Halligan (R), is now a State Senator, after serving as President of OSU for nearly eight years. He’s just as concerned about students that choose another path besides a four year school.
“Not everyone should go to college. But we need to make certain that the vast majority of our society and the young people get some sort of post-secondary education,” said Halligan.
State Representative Ed Cannady (D) says higher education and public schools share a link.
“Eventually there is a connection there,” said Cannady. “Because what you hear is well if our public schools are not doing so well, where are our teachers trained? Our teachers are trained at the University. So there is a correlation there.”
“They’re going to be wondering ‘Is she going to be considering some of the negative impacts public education has experienced this last year?’
The debate over the role of education in Oklahoma will carry on. Representative Cannady doesn’t have high hopes if the question of tuition hikes comes up during the town hall.
“I bet it will be deflected. I doubt very seriously if the Governor will actually say it’s unfortunate, because I think that will be deflected,” said Cannady.
Governor Fallin will speak and take questions Wednesday at 1:30 PM in the Wes Watkins Center in Stillwater.
Follow @BenAllenKOSU on Twitter for live updates from the town hall.