When and How Much?
The increase is planned for Fall 2017, and is was voted on at the end of March. The Board of Trustees voted 11-8 in favor of the increase. The increase is 5%, or about $270 annually for undergrads. It is 10%, or $438, for graduate students.
CSU leaders do not think they will receive enough funding for the CSU from the state legislature this year, and they want students to pay for the gap in funding. The Board of Trustees did not have to raise tuition, and had the option to stand with students in their fight for a more equitable public higher education.
What Would Have Happened if They Voted Not to Raise Tuition?
First things first—the CSU needs more state funding and public support for it to continue serving all Californians. The best way to ensure that the legislature provides this funding was for the CSU Board of Trustees to vote down this increase, and urge the state legislature to do the right thing: support public higher education by fully funding the CSU. As Gavin Newsom told the Trustees in February, their plan to raise tuition and then lobby the government for more money so they can roll back the increase will simply not work: the UC regents found that out the hard way (https://theaggie.org/2017/01/27/uc-regents-vote-to-raise-tuition-for-uc-campuses/).
The CSU Board of Trustees can also cover all mandatory costs for next year, given the current budget–and moreover, the Administration’s salaries, bloat, and inefficiency raise real questions about their commitment to the “People’s University” and an affordable education for all.
What do faculty think?
The CFA, representing CSU faculty, lecturers, and coaches systemwide, has taken strong positions against any plans to raise tuition—and specifically, this plan. They cite the fact that tuition has risen more than 200% since 2002; and, the alarming correlation between an influx of students of color into the CSU system, and the systematic defunding of the CSU over the same 40 year time period (http://www.calfac.org/equity-interrupted). They are echoing students’ calls that enough is enough, and to end the pushout of marginalized students from the CSU system through a rejection of any tuition increase–sending a clear message to the CA State Legislature to do the right thing; fund public higher education.
What can I do to stop the tuition increase?
It is not too late to stop the increase! We need to fight for enough funding in the California budget to fully fund the CSU–if that happens, the tuition increase will be cancelled. There is a bill moving through the CA legislature right now that would halt the increase and put another freeze on tuition for three years! To learn more about SQE’s legislative advocacy and get involved, click here.