State Lawmakers Compared to ‘Plantation Owners’ For Trying to Keep University Tuition Down

Jack Lessenberry, a columnist for National Public Radio's Michigan affiliate, compares state universities to slaves and state lawmakers to plantation owners in a dispute over student tuition hikes.

Lessenberry wrote: "State Representative Al Pscholka, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said he was shocked, shocked to learn that two state universities had raised tuition by more than the 3.2 percent figure the legislature asked them not to exceed.

'I thought we had better relationships with our universities,' he (Pscholka) said. This reminded me that after the Civil War, some bewildered plantation owners really seemed to believe their slaves were happy and couldn’t understand their wanting to be free."

ForTheRecord says: Michigan legislators authorize more than $1.5 billion worth of annual grants to 15 state universities, with minimal accountability and questionable results. Michigan's public universities are wealthy and powerful institutions whose privileges include not paying local and school property taxes. Governmental entities, including universities, getting less money from taxpayers than they believe they are owed is not a limit on freedom

Citizens have a right to expect a higher standard from taxpayer-funded radio personalities, rather than insulting rhetoric that paints a divisive and false picture of reality.