The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 12, 2000, Image 1

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• | Examining Education
| v ^^^B t Three different columnists take issue with the
•- . __ bevy of problems our education system has ‘
Wednesday, January 12,2000 Vol 99, Issue 78.7? today, opinion, page 5
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JOEY BOSQUE, 22, takes a lunch break from work in order to play a round of Frisbee golf at Max E. Roper Park in northwest Lincoln
on Tuesday.
Savings program proposed
■ State college fund would
give percentage of total trusts
to in-state college students.
By Veronica Daehn
Sen. Ed Schrock wants his grandchildren
to go to college.
And to help them do that, he’s been putting
money into a federal college savings program.
If Schrock’s bill, LB 1003 passes,
Nebraskans will soon be able to do the same
with a state college savings program.
Based on College Savings Iowa, the sav
ings plan that Iowa uses, Nebraska’s plan
would add 10 percent of the students’ money
to what they deposited if they attend school in
Students could use the money to attend
school anywhere, but the state would not add
10 percent if they went to an out-of-state
The 10 percent back is an incentive for
students to stay in Nebraska, Schrock said.
“Other colleges are recruiting here, and I
want to keep students in Nebraska,” he said.
The bill states that contributors could
begin a savings plan at the birth of the benefi
ciary and continue to put money in until that
person’s 17th birthday, or until the maximum
amount of $34,000 was reached.
Nebraskans interested in the plan would
need to contribute a minimum of $300 a year.
The maximum that could be contributed
to the plan annually would be $2,000, but
Schrock’s aide Randy Stovall said that number
might change.
“$2,000 might be a little low in terms of
maximum contribution,” Stovall said. “We’ll
see what the committees want to do with it.”
The bill was introduced Jan. 5 and was
sent to the education committee Monday.
Committee debate begins in late January.
Stovall said the maximum amount some
one could deposit could increase because of
the rising cost of tuition at Creighton
University and the University of Nebraska
Nebraskans with children planning to
attend college would benefit from this plan,
Schrock said, because the money they con
tribute would be tax-free.
Taxes would apply, though, if the benefi
ciary withdrew the money and used it for
something other than education.
Stovall added that there woe “all kinds of
exceptions” to the plan.
If the child died or could not attend col
lege, the money could be transferred to anoth
er beneficiary.
Bill would
■ The proposal would merge the
Board of Regents and the State
College Board of Trustees.
By Kimberly Sweet
Staff writer
II speaker Doug Knstensen of Minden could have
his way, two colleges in the state would get an “NU”
For the second session in a row, the speaker of the
legislature is lobbying hard for the passage of a bill that
would merge two governing boards of higher education
and add two state colleges to the University of Nebraska
Talk of the bill that would merge the University of
Nebraska Board of Regents and the State College Board
of Trustees has been light.
Kristensen said he is aware that lawmakers and citi
zens are happy with keeping the state university and col
lege set-up status quo.
But for a state whose citizens’ dollars are becom
ing strapped, forethought on how higher education
can become more efficient needs to happen now,
Kristensen said.
“I believe this is a very good concept to make
state government more efficient,” Kristensen said.
“But until there is a crisis, people will probably want
things to stay the same.”
Kristensen s bill, which is sitting in the education
committee, would add Wayne State College and
Chadron State College to the NU system. It would
eliminate the Coordinating Commission for
Postsecondary Education.
The bill, LB631, is held over from last year’s ses
The move would end the duplication occurring
between the boards that govern education currently,
Kristensen said.
Six community college boards, along with the
regents, the trustees and the commission all fulfill the
same function, he said.
“That’s a tremendous amount of duplicated govern
ments,” Kristensen said
Along with being able to run more efficiently,
Kristensen said the state’s colleges and universities
need to be able to speak with one voice as they become
the target for budget cuts..
Higher education takes up one of the biggest por
tions of state funds. Consequently, they are most vulner
able to cuts in funding, he said.
The small, state colleges are the ones that typically
sustain more of the cuts, Kristensen said
“We need a board who can speak with a unified
voice and tell the Legislature where to go,” he said.
Last year’s bill included changing Peru State
Please see MERGER on 3
Former governor remembered for honesty, sense of humor
By Margaret Behm
Staff writer
The late former Gov. Robert Crosby had
many roles in legislature, law and lus family.
“Bob was many things to many people,”
said William Kuester, former law partner. “The
bottom line is that he was a fine gentleman.”
Crosby died Friday at Madonna
Rehabilitation Hospital, and his funeral was
Tuesday morning.
Crosby was elected to the Nebraska
Legislature in 1941, when he was 29.TWo years
later he became the speaker, and he was the
youngest senator up to that time to hold that
Crosby became the lieutenant governor in
1946. He became governor in I9S3 and served
in office until 1955.
Crosby continued to wort: as an attorney
and lobbyist until he suffered a stroke on Feb. 3,
Crosby loved being a lawyer, and he repre
sented people who other lawyers wouldn’t,
Kuester said.
“He felt that everyone deserved a fair trial,”
Kuester said, “and a lot of people didn’t like
An example of that was die murder case of
Duane Pope. Pope was charged with killing
three people and permanently disabling a fourth
person during a bank robbery in Big Springs.
Crosby represented Pope after he was asked
to by a district judges -
Crosby did his best to represent Pope even
though many people were upset at his efforts,
Sen. Donald W. Pederson said,
Crosby received threats because of die Pope
trial, Pederson said.
“I know that he had personal threats to his
own safety and to his famiy’s,” Pederson said,
“because he was representing Pope.”
These threats led Crosby to not keep his trial
notes in his office, Pederson said.
“He kept his files on die case in a separate
location,” Pederson said, “because he feared
that his building would be burned.”
Sen. DiAana Schimek said she was
impressed when she heard that Crosby repre
sented Pope.
“When a lot of people would have shied
away from that case, he didn’t,” Schimek said.
“He didn’t shy away from tough issues.”
Crosby was not interested in money when
Please see GOVERNOR on 3