House passes UI tuition amendment - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

House passes UI tuition amendment

BOISE, Idaho. - The House voted 64-3 for a constitutional amendment to allow tuition at the University of Idaho, a move to help the Moscow school manage its budget.

A law from Idaho's territorial days when the school was founded in 1889 forbids most UI students from paying tuition. Vandals pay "student fees" instead.

Since Idaho prevents student fees from paying professors, however, UI, unlike other Idaho schools, can't shift this money to shore up instruction costs crimped by this year's austerity measures.

Rep. Ken Roberts, a McCall Republican, says, "This puts every one of the higher education universities in Idaho on a level playing field."

Lawmakers including Boise Democrat Grant Burgoyne opposed the bill to protest higher tuition fees, but backers called such debate "beside the point."

Idaho voters will likely weigh in on the constitional change in November 2010.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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