An announcement from the office of Senator Dean Florez, D-Shafter:
Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, D-Shafter, who spoke out strongly against the recent 32% fee spike at UC campuses, this week introduced legislation to help stabilize student fees for future generations of California students.
With rates that can remain relatively stable for some time and then skyrocket, it is nearly impossible for parents and students to plan their saving and investments with any sense of confidence the end result will be enough to afford whatever the going rate is by the time they enroll. Even then, the next year may soar out of reach, abruptly ending a dream.
On Monday, Florez introduced Senate Bill 969 – The California College and University Fee Stabilization Act of 2010 — to remove much of that uncertainty from planning for a college education.
Senate Bill 969 says that the fee you pay your first year of college is the fee you will pay until you graduate, much as degree graduation requirements are locked in based on what was in place in your year of admission. In addition, SB 969 states that the fee increase from one year’s incoming class to the next can be no more than five percent, so parents can plan ahead for their children’s younger siblings as well.
“It is of benefit to every one of us to ensure that the best and the brightest students in this state are not kept from reaching their potential by unreasonable and unexpected spikes in tuition rates,” Senator Florez said. “If we are to build and maintain an economy befitting of this great state, we cannot make higher education an unattainable dream.”
Senator Florez also included his personal thoughts about this legislation in a message to California Democrats:
As California looks to rebound from tough economic times and promote the type of solid growth that will lead to lasting stability, we cannot underestimate the value of educating the generation that will ultimately lead this charge for our state.
When students – some in their final year of school at a prestigious UC, already working two jobs to get through – were hit with an immediate 32% increase late last year, some had to move home, transfer or even drop out with tens of thousands already spent.
When students don’t know from year to year if tuition will go up 4% or 40%, we are making higher education a gamble that many feel they cannot afford, adding to the instability that has already rocked our state and nation for quite some time. In reality, higher education is an investment in our future which we cannot afford to overlook.
In an effort to bring some stability to college funding, so students and parents can save, invest and plan with confidence for the future, I have this week introduced Senate Bill 969.
Senate Bill 969 would ensure that the fee you pay your first year of college is the fee you pay until you graduate, just as the graduation requirements in place your year of admission are those which will guide you to completion of your degree. In essence, we don’t go changing the rules in the middle of the game.
Funding is certainly no less critical an issue and should be handled no differently.
In addition, my bill states that the fee increase from one year’s incoming class to the next cannot exceed five percent, giving parents the ability to plan ahead for their children’s younger siblings’ actual educational expenses as well.
California’s colleges and universities are always saying they want a stable source of funding from government. This measure gives them the same stability for future planning that it makes possible for California’s students, who are surviving on much smaller margins than these giant institutions.
In short, we cannot let the potential in our best and brightest be snuffed out by unreasonable and unexpected spikes in tuition rates such as UC students faced this last year. I hope you will join me in keeping the dream of higher education in California an attainable reality by supporting SB 969.
Senate Majority Leader