More support for the idea that it has primarily been due to a reduction in state spending.
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Are public universities nationwide regarded as a public good, or have politicians maneuvered them into becoming business-oriented models where students are the consumers?
That's the central question of "Starving the Beast," a documentary by Austin-based filmmaker Steve Mims that premiered Tuesday night at Austin's Violet Crown Cinema.
The film looks into how Texas officials perceive higher education as a commodity, linking the decrease in state funding — and coinciding increase in tuition and fees — to massive reductions in government spending, an idea introduced by think tanks that have pushed for education reform in Texas and four other states.
“Over time, the burden of the cost is being shifted from the state over to the students,” Mims said in an interview prior to the premiere. “We started shooting interviews from the [House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations], and as we started to do interviews with people we realized the story was bigger than UT-Austin and Texas A&M.”
- Click here for the documentary's website.