AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Republican Gov. Rick Perry is again opposing tuition hikes within the University of Texas System as the flagship Austin campus proposes pushing the average semester cost past $5,000.

Perry sent a letter Wednesday to UT regent Chairman Paul Foster that urged the board to consider alternatives for raising revenues. Perry said “forcing students to bear the brunt of additional costs is not the solution.”

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Perry has clashed with UT before over tuition hikes. He’s particularly been at odds with UT Austin President Bill Powers, who two years ago had his request to raise undergraduate tuition rejected.

The letter comes after a bipartisan Texas House panel this week found grounds for impeachment against Regent Wallace Hall, who Perry appointed in 2011.

Here is the full text of Perry’s letter to UT regents:

Dear Chairman Foster:
Like all Texans, I am committed to improving higher education and making sure taxpayers receive the greatest value for the investment they make in higher education, To put a college degree within reach for more students and to combat the epidemic of student indebtedness, we should place a far greater emphasis on controlling the spiraling costs of a college education. Forcing students to bear the brunt of additional costs is not the solution.

As you consider tuition increases for UT System institutions today, I trust the board will consider all opportunities for system-wide cost efficiencies as well as revenue streams – such as the exponential growth in the value of the Permanent University Fund – that will allow you to meet institutional needs without placing additional financial burdens on students and parents.

Higher education is vital to preparing our students to be competitive in a global economy, I thank you for your commitment and service to the residents of Texas. Because of your collective efforts, more students will get a world-class education.

Rick Perry

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