Tuesday, October 25, 2005

It's not citizenship, it's partisanship

"Can't pay for college? Do what I did--get a football scholarship!"
- Gov. Jockstrap
STEELE, EHRLICH HIGHER EDUCATION CUTS PUT COLLEGE FURTHER FROM REACH FOR MARYLAND FAMILIES

Though Maryland’s Republican Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele plans to make a “special announcement” this morning at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Steele and Governor Ehrlich’s commitment to higher education has been far from special.

“Higher education should be the foundation for a strong and prosperous future,” said Terry Lierman, Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party. “Unfortunately, under Michael Steele and Robert Ehrlich, the doors to higher education have closed for thousands of Marylanders who can no longer afford to go to college.”

Since Steele and Ehrlich were elected in November of 2002, college tuition rates at Maryland’s public colleges and universities have increased by nearly 40%. The administration cut $120 million from the state’s support of higher education during its first two years – only seven states have cut their higher education investments by a greater margin during that time.

“This Governor and Lieutenant Governor talk about creating opportunity,” said Lierman, “but Maryland’s hard-working middle class families know the real deal – college tuition is increasing faster than their incomes, and the Ehrlich/Steele tax hikes put college further from reach.”Attempts to address the tuition hikes have fallen on deaf ears at the State House.

Two years ago, when a group of Maryland students came to Annapolis to protest the tuition issue, Steele flatly refused their repeated requests to discuss the matter with him. Last year, the Ehrlich/Steele administration vetoed a bill passed by the Maryland General Assembly that would cap future tuition increases.

“Maryland can’t afford to send Michael Steele to the Senate,” said Lierman, adding that President Bush and other national Republican leaders who are working tirelessly to elect Steele are also “working hard to cut Pell Grants and reduce federal investments in financial aid.”

A tip o’ the mortarboard to Derek Walker
Communications Director
Maryland Democratic Party

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