Today’s News and Observer reports that leaders of the NC legislature are considering a plan drastically o lower tuition at some public universities in the state. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But read on. The legislators ”have focused on financial models for a less expensive degree at historically black Elizabeth City State, Fayetteville State and Winston-Salem State, and UNC Pembroke, once known as Pembroke State College for Indians.” These legislators have not won a reputation for being sympathetic to African-Americans and other minorities in the state. This plan sounds to me like second class education for second-class citizens.
And why right now? The new president of the University, Margaret Spellings, takes office on March 1. She is, we are told, “up to speed on the discussions. “ Will she be presented with a fait accompli? Or is she happy that someone else will take the heat for this very dubious plan? The legislature should wait until she is in a position to speak her own mind on educational issues. Meantime, she should be insisting on time for an in depth study of the proposal. . Where is Mrs. Spellings when we need her?