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Idaho tuition amendment offers flexibility

Published October 12, 2010 12:00 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Moscow, Idaho • Voters will have a chance in November to give the University of Idaho more flexibility in divvying up the revenue from its roughly 12,000 students.

There's a constitutional amendment on the Nov. 2 ballot to allow tuition at the school, something that had been forbidden in Idaho's 120-year-old state Constitution. Revenue instead comes from "student fees."

But since such fees can't go to paying for professors, that has limited the Moscow-based school's ability to move money around more freely to shore up instruction as state funding dwindles amid the recession.

Idaho state government provides about 23 percent of the UI's budget, equating to $100 million of a total $450 million budget. The state money goes to help pay professors.

The Legislature overwhelmingly approved the measure in 2009, with five of 105 lawmakers voting against.

It had to wait until this year to go before voters, however.