SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins today announced a plan that would reject proposed fee increases for in-state students at the University of California and instead provide UC with additional state funding coupled with greater UC efficiencies, higher enrollment of California students, a cap on out-of-state-students and an accelerated, reasonable fee increase for out-of-state students in line with other universities.
“The proposed fee increase of more than 25% is unacceptable—California students and their families have faced too many fee increases already,” said Speaker Atkins (D-San Diego). “Instead, UC should work with the Legislature and Governor to get UC the money it needs to remain one of the state’s world-class assets, without harming the California students and families the university was created to serve.”
Speaker Atkins’ proposal includes the following items:
- First, reject all fee increases for California students, including the more than 25% 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.
Speaker Atkins, who is a member of the Board of Regents, called on the Regents to reject the proposed fee increases and have UC staff begin working with the Legislature and Governor on a shared solution encompassing these areas.
Speaker Atkins will make a statement before the board during the meeting. A link to the live stream of the meeting can be found at http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/meetings/agendas/nov14.html