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Jun 10, 2010 12:52 PM

Senate panel backs tuition increase bill

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) A Senate panel has loosened the restrictions in a bill to let Louisiana's public colleges raise their tuition costs.

As the proposal won backing from the House, schools would only be allowed to raise tuition if they meet performance improvement benchmarks, like increasing admission standards, improving graduation rates and boosting efforts to get students into jobs.

But the Senate Education Committee reworked the bill Thursday to allow the schools to get two years of tuition increase authority before they have to meet the performance benchmarks required under the measure.

House Speaker Jim Tucker says he's not sure if he'll support those changes to his bill.

The measure is expected to heads next to the Senate budget committee for debate.

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