University of Texas students concerned about cuts to financial aid programs and skyrocketing tuition costs took to the streets this afternoon.
Dozens of people wearing “Invest in Texas” t-shirts and carrying handmade signs marched from the Student Activity Center to the Capitol, shouting slogans in support of higher education.
A proposal included in House Bill 1 would reduce higher education financial aid by $431 million. A contingency rider would reduce that cut by $50 million to $381 million, according to the Legislative Budget Board.
But some state lawmakers, trying to close a budget gap as large as $27 billion without raising taxes, say higher ed has been spared from the worst cuts.
"The good news for higher ed is that in relative terms, the cuts are less on higher education than health and human services, and even public education," State Representative Dan Branch (R-Dallas) told KUT News. "You've got cuts north of 20 percent in health and human services, north of 10 percent in public ed, and in higher ed, the cuts have been 5 to 7 percent, depending on the House or Senate version [of the budget bill]."