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February 04. 2013 11:24AM

Hassan: Tuition freeze the price of more money for state colleges

CONCORD - Gov. Maggie Hassan said Monday a tuition freeze at institutions of higher education is the price they'll have to pay to begin to restore funding cuts at the state's university and public colleges.

During her campaign last year, Hassan said she wanted a two-year tuition freeze, accompanied by a guarantee that more state students will be accepted at the University of New Hampshire.

Hassan took her pitch for more funding for higher education to the heads of the state's public schools. The governor told members of the New Hampshire School Administrators Association at a legislative update meeting that more money for the state higher education system, combined with level tuition costs, will support their work in local school districts.

"My innovation plan includes beginning to restore cuts to our community colleges and universities," Hassan said in remarks prepared for delivery at the association's legislative meeting. "In exchange, they should work to freeze tuition to ensure an affordable and accessible higher education for more of New Hampshire's students and families."

How much additional money the governor can propose for higher education as part of the state budget won't be known until her budget is released later this month. Hassan is a supporter of legislation to allow one casino in the state, located along the state's southern border to encourage gamblers from Massachusetts to visit and leave their money behind.

A bill to do that, sponsored by the chairmen of the Senate Ways and Means and Finance committees, would also target some of the state's take from the casinos to higher-education funding.

The governor also encouraged superintendents and other leaders of the state's local school districts to join the "partnerships" her administration seeks between local schools, businesses and the higher education system to improve science, technology, engineering and math education in public schools.


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