Georgia senator pitches tuition freeze for public college students

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Georgia senator pitches tuition freeze for public college students

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ATLANTA - State Sen. Michael Williams, R-Cumming, discusses two bills he's proposed that aim to create financial oversight of Georgia's public colleges. ERIC STIRGUS / ESTIRGUS@AJC.COM

State Sen. Michael Williams, R-Cumming, discussed two bills with the senate’s higher education committee Tuesday that would freeze tuition for incoming freshman at the same level throughout their academic career.

Williams actually introduced the legislation last year, but it never came for a vote before the senate.

Williams raised concerns about rising college costs for students in recent years at the state’s public institutions. He believes greater oversight of spending is needed by administrators of Georgia’s public colleges and universities, citing a few auditor reports that have found some questionable allocations.

“There’s a disconnect in the amount of money and the results we’re getting,” Williams said.

The committee did not vote on the legislation.

Sen. Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, the committee’s chairman, told Williams he had some “valid points” but asked for patience as the University System of Georgia continues its study to explore ways its schools could perform more efficiently.

Millar noted state funding cuts to the University System after the Great Recession. He also noted the system has made changes to better manage costs for students, such as requiring student housing and meal fee increases to be approved by the state’s Board of Regents.

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