FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 7, 2014
CONTACT: Betsey Hodges @ 916-651-4001 o, 916-207-2600 c
Senator Gaines Blasts UC Tuition Increase Plan
Calls on Regents to Reject 25-Percent Hike
SACRAMENTO – Senator Ted Gaines (R-Roseville) today slammed the proposed University of California tuition increase plan, which could raise student fees 5-percent a year for the next five years.
“The UC system must serve the academic elite, not just the financial elite,” said Senator Gaines. “Students have been pummeled with tuition increases for years, and the second that they and their families catch their breath this mega-increase is being pushed on them. I am calling on the Regents to stand with the students and reject the tuition spike.”
The proposed tuition increase would vary depending on the level of state funding, but could stretch to 5-percent each year for the next five years. Current, in-state UC students pay $12,192 in mandatory tuition and fees. According to the UC, the first-year increase could push those mandatory expenses up by $612. A 5-percent increase over the duration of the plan would elevate those mandatory fees to nearly $15,600. These fees are independent of room and board, books, transportation and any other expenses students face while earning a degree.
“Governor Brown agreed to increase UC funding in exchange for a tuition freeze and I support that completely. The University of California system is an irreplaceable part of our infrastructure that contributes fantastically to the state’s prosperity. We need a general fund commitment that recognizes that fact. If anything, we should be looking to lower tuition, not push it into the stratosphere” said the Senator. “UC administrators are compensated like tech company CEOs. It’s unconscionable that students are being asked to dig deeper while the expansion of the UC ruling class continues without pause.”
Gaines is particularly worried about the state’s working families and how they will cope with the planned increase. “It’s political sport in California to see how much we can punish and antagonize the middle class, and this proposal is a gold-medal winner,” voiced the Senator. “I’m sick of it. I know that wealthy families won’t be affected by this. The poorest families will be damaged, as the dream of college is dimmed by the thought of unattainable expenses, but they will qualify for more UC financial aid. But the hammer will truly fall on the families in the middle, who will get to fork over this money straight out of their checking accounts or by taking on loads of new debt that could take decades to pay off. Who is looking out for them?”
The UC Regents will debate and vote on the tuition increase plan during their November 19-20 meeting.
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Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.