This afternoon, Voices for Children Economic Stability and Health Policy Coordinator Aubrey Mancuso testified in support for LB380, which would establish the Higher Education Affordability Commission. The purposes of the committee include the creation of a ten year plan to address college affordability, a legislative proposal to create a pilot program and to give recommendations on the issue of access and affordability in education.
Nationally there is a growing recognition of the importance of addressing the issue of accessibility to higher education and LB 380 would be an important first step toward addressing this issue in Nebraska. Many factors have led to a growing problem of access and affordability in higher education, including the cost of higher education increasing at a rate much faster than family incomes while state budgets have remained tight, which has limited public funding for higher education. This creates challenges on two fronts; our economy needs educated workers and young adults are increasingly burdened by student debt.
LB 380 would give Nebraska the opportunity to examine the issue of affordability in higher education and come up with state-specific interventions designed to address affordability in higher education.