Releases & Statements

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SAN FRANCISCO – Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) released the following statement regarding the University of California Board of Regents vote to increase tuition:

“I am extremely disappointed the UC Regents voted to raise tuition and impose new burdens on middle class students and their families. There are other steps we can take to get UC the funding it needs. I offered an alternative that would prevent tuition increases, but unfortunately a majority of Regents dismissed them, just as they dismissed the concerns of the students who traveled to the meeting to comment. To UC students and their families, please know that the fight over this nearly 28% fee increase is not over. I will continue advancing my proposal to increase state funding for UC, reject fee increases, cut UC’s administrative costs, and ensure the University of California puts California students first.”

Speaker Atkins is a member of the UC Board of Regents and has proposed an alternative plan that would increase funding for the UC system without raising tuition. Speaker Atkins’ proposal includes the following items:

  • First, reject all fee increases for California students, including the nearly 28% fee increase in President Napolitano’s proposal.

  • Additional funding of $50 million from the state General Fund. The California State University system, which has not proposed raising fees, would also receive additional state funds to increase student services to reduce time to graduate, as well as to increase enrollment.

  • Increase Cal Grants to lessen the financial burden of higher education on lower income families. 

  • Require UC to maintain all existing institutional aid to students to ensure the increase Cal Grant benefits are realized by the students.

  • Accelerate the implementation of the Middle Class Scholarship to cut fees for middle income families by more than 20% in 2015-16.

  • Double the proposed increase of California students to 10,000 over five years by adding enrollments of California students by 2,000 per year for five years and ensure California student enrollments increase at all UC campuses.

  • Cap enrollments of out-of-state students at 2014-15 levels. The Great Recession has ended, and funds have been restored to the UC, so the time has come to end the practice of backfilling state cuts with students that pay out of state tuition and push out California students. 

  • Increase tuition for out of state students by $5,000, which is still well below other prominent public schools. The increased revenues will help fund enrollments of California students and keep California students’ fees from increasing.

  • UC should adopt the pension reforms for new employees contained in the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013.

  • UC also needs to ensure Californians are getting the most for our money by increasing the amount of teaching that is required and limiting increases in executive compensation.

Website of Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins: www.asmdc.org/speaker