Although Ms. Patafio starts her article, “Paying in and Out of the Classroom,” saying that is with a grain of salt, I think it is worth some clarification as to who pays for public higher education in the state of Georgia. I’m not sure what the exact percentage is that comes from tuition, but I do know that it is not much. Tuition is a pittance compared to the overall cost of the academic portion of your education. If we only depended on tuition, we wouldn’t have enough to build one building. And, if you’re on HOPE, it was the people who purchased lottery tickets that picked up that tab. If you’re on financial aid, unless you’ve completely paid off your loans, that would be the taxpayers picking up that bill. And the balance? State allocated funds based on what the taxpayers of the state pay. I’ll drop my attendance policy, and my no tolerance cell phone policy if you will pay 100 percent of the cost of your college education — just on the academic side. Faculty and staff work for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Our mission is to educate you the best we can. We’re not WalMart. You pitch in a little bit of the cost, but, you can thank the taxpayers for the rest. And, given that our faculty and staff have gone six years without any increase in pay, you probably should thank them for still even being here rather than thinking you should dictate how they conduct their classroom responsibilities. For those who think this is harsh, we’re all grown up here, right?
Sara Faircloth, MPA
Center for Engaged Learning