Well, It Was 30 Years Ago

In a speech to the state Legislature recently, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander decried the high cost of tuition for higher education. "Thirty years ago, the state paid 70 percent of the cost if you were a Tennessee student and the student paid 30 percent," Alexander said. "Today it's the reverse."

Alexander blamed unfunded mandates by the federal government for increasing state costs and thus less money for higher education.

Old Nashville hands remember that it was 30 years ago when the law requiring that the state fund 70 percent of higher education and student tuition cover only 30 percent was repealed. That would have been during the Gov. Lamar Alexander administration.

Alexander said he will introduce legislation to help stop unfunded mandates, calling for a Grand Swap. He will propose that the federal government take over all Medicaid functions and give the states total responsibility for education.