Minnesota lawmakers are calling for changes in the state's reciprocity program with Wisconsin colleges because they feel Wisconsin is getting the better end of the deal.
The two states' 36-year-old reciprocity agreement allows Wisconsin students to attend Minnesota colleges for in-state tuition and vice versa.
Nearly 13,000 Minnesotans paid tuition at Wisconsin schools while about 9,300 Wisconsinites go to Minnesota campuses, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Minnesota state Rep. Joe Opatz said the agreement is pulling Minnesota students out of state.
Opatz proposed ending the program earlier this year. He has backed down from that stance, but he still pushed language through the state House of Representatives that would require the Legislature to approve any extension to the agreement.
A Senate committee is working on a bill that would direct state education leaders to find some way to cut the cost of the program. The language could be completed by Monday, when the state's budget is sent to Gov. Jesse Ventura.
Opatz said Minnesota can work a better deal because the 26 Wisconsin public colleges don't want to lose students.
"Wisconsin cannot possibly afford to renege on some of those agreements because some of those campuses are being kept open by Minnesota students," he said.
University of Wisconsin System leaders said thousands of Wisconsin students in Minnesota would then simply return to schools in their home state. But some are afraid campuses would lose the diversity of students from the Twin Cities.
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