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Many of the disagreements on today's show about in-state tuition for illegal/undocumented residents can't be settled by looking back at old newspapers. (As you may have heard, even the language, as evidenced by the slash in the previous sentence, was at issue.) But you'd assume that basic facts like the amount of possible tuition increases could be agreed upon by folks on both sides of the debate. That's why we were surprised by a minor kerfuffle on the show.
In the middle of the hour, Jim Ludwick of Oregonians for Immigration Reform noted:
The Oregon University System has stated recently that due to projected budget cuts they may have to increase tuition by $6,000 per year for the next two years, basically doubling it. How does it make sense to double the tuition for American citizens and then take away the cost of $13,000 to illegal aliens.
Wim Wievel strongly disagreed:
There are a lot of distortions there. Nobody has proposed, for instance, $6,000 tuition increases. The tuition increase proposals are in the 10 to 15% range, which is a lot of money, and we're very sad about it, but that's about a thousand dollars, so I have no idea where the $6,000 issue comes from.
And then Ludwick responded:
I want to take issue with his statement that I don't know what I'm talking about about the claim by the Department of Higher Education. I'm looking at the front page of the metro section, Tuesday, April the 7th, of The Oregonian. The title is 'Higher ed's doomsday plan.' In there it says average tuition for full-time undergraduate students at the seven universities would go up by about $6,000 in two years based upon a projected budget shortfall. So I really take issue with him saying that I give out false information, because frankly this is what I read and I encourage him to get an old edition of The Oregonian and look it up himself. [Emphasis added.]
After that exchange, how could I not look for the old print edition? As luck would have it, I found it crumpled up at the bottom of our recyling bin. This is what it says:
Average tuition for full-time undergraduates at the seven universities would go up to about $6,000 in two years, which doesn't include student fees that typically add another $1,300 to annual costs. [Emphasis added.]