Christopher J. Ortiz
CSU might have found an escape route out of TABOR’s (Taxpayer’s
Bill of Rights) fire. The state House Educational Committee
approved a bill that would completely change the way higher
education is funded in this state.
College-bound students would receive a stipend, also known as
vouchers, to attend any higher-education institution in the state,
instead of schools receiving a flat amount from the state – as they
This idea was flirted with last year, but the state
legislature’s session ended before the bill could be moved out of
Former CSU President Albert Yates supported vouchers because he
felt they served as a vehicle to remove CSU and other institutions
from TABOR’s restrictions and make them state enterprises.
We support vouchers for the same reason.
It should be made clear that vouchers will not make college free
for recipients. They will still have to pay the difference between
the amount of tuition and the amount the state provides – as
students now do. It is even likely the vouchers amount might be
less that the amount from the state – making the out-of-pocket
price of college even greater.
But, by giving the money to the students, it may make them more
aware of what it costs to go to college and how much money is out
there. Stipends create a situation in which students are more
likely to pay attention to the costs and funding of their college
But with any newly introduced plan, the devil is in the details.
We hope with working with the Colorado Commission on Higher
Education and with college representatives, the legislature can
come up with a final plan that will better serve the state and
CSU has long needed an escape from TABOR and we hope this is