Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Change in the General Assembly: Looking for Answers

Tech football coach Frank Beamer's salary wouldn't be affected.
Last year at this time, the only news coming out of the General Assembly was a series of horror stories concerning the lengths lawmakers would go to make abortion uncomfortable, inaccessible and even illegal.

We have a new government and that's changed. The GA is dealing with real issues that affect people on a daily basis and the constant assault on women's rights has eased, if not ceased. Some on the right are going to make abortion the only issue, regardless, but they have no chance of achieving their goals with the current breakdown, so it's on to what can be done.

One of the new issues is an interesting look at college costs and what athletic fees do to them in state schools. Here's a report from the Richmond Times-Dispatch that tells you the relevant details.

What we're seeing, in an age when college costs outstrip the ability of many to attend, is that athletic costs per student equal 12 percent of the cost of college. That's too much and needs to be dealt with. There's a bill to limit state payment of coaching salaries to $100,000 and if that sounds severe, it's not. Most coaches' salaries do not come from the general fund, but are supplemented by the athletic departments. Thus, football coaches can make $1 million a year without affecting a student's costs.

However, there are a lot of programs and a lot of costs attached to programs that return nothing to the schools and must be paid for with state funds. I don't know what the answer is, but there's one out there and I'm delighted the lawmakers are looking for it. It's a nice change.

(Photo: blog.al.com)

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