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Thursday, 12 April 2012 13:26

Speaker Pérez And Assemblymember Nancy Skinner Host Forum At UC Berkeley With Students To Discuss Middle Class Scholarship Act

Plan Would Slash College Fees by Two-Thirds

SACRAMENTO— In order to make college more affordable and accessible, today Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) met with UC, CSU and Community College students at UC Berkeley to discuss the Middle Class Scholarship Act (AB 1500 and 1501), a bold plan that would cut college fees by two-thirds for middle class Californians.

The plan is paid for by closing a tax loophole benefitting out-of-state corporations and would benefit students whose families make less than $150,000 per year.

“Middle Class families who have already been hit hard by the Recession are now facing college fees that have doubled over the past decade, putting the dream of acquiring a college education out of reach for many students,” said Speaker Pérez.  “The Middle Class Scholarship Act will help make college accessible and affordable for all Californians, and we’re meeting with college students all over the state to help make it a reality.”
In recent years, CSU fees have increased 191%, UC fees have increased by 145%, and community college fees have also increased significantly.

“It’s time to stand up for California’s students and pass the Middle Class Scholarship Act,” said Assemblymember Skinner. “Students have made their voices heard, and our state can no longer place the burden of astronomical college fees on middle class families.”

The Middle Class Scholarship Act covers students whose family income is under $150,000 but who are not eligible for financial aid. CSU students will save $4,000 per year or $16,000 over a four-year period, UC students will save about $8,200 per year or nearly $33,000 over a four-year period, and Community College students will see their costs reduced significantly as well. According to estimates, 150,000 CSU students and 42,000 UC students would be eligible. Community Colleges would receive $150 million to reduce costs for students.

The cost of this dramatic reduction in higher education fees will be paid for by closing the Single Sales Factor loophole, a tax break that only benefits big out-of-state corporations. Ending this giveaway to out-of-state corporations – which had bipartisan support in the Assembly last year – will bring in more than $1 billion for the Middle Class Scholarship.

The proposal is contained in two pieces of legislation: AB 1500, which closes the wasteful Single Sales Factor loophole and deposits the revenues into the Middle Class Scholarship Fund, and AB 1501, which creates the Middle Class Scholarship program providing the scholarships for CSU and UC students and appropriating funds to community colleges.

For more information on the proposal, go to www.MiddleClassScholarship.com.

CONTACT: John Vigna (916) 319-2408

Website of Speaker John A. Pérez: www.asmdc.org/speaker

Website of Assemblymember Nancy Skinner: www.asmdc.org/skinner

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