Wednesday, November 16, 2011
SAN DIEGO Cal State trustees voted Wednesday to raise tuition if the universities don’t get additional state funding next year. But a funding boost from the state seems unlikely after a report out today from the state’s legislative analyst projecting revenue shortfalls that would trigger more cuts to the system.
Tuition will go up 9 percent, almost $500, for Cal State students next fall. The hike is part of a budget proposal that also asks the state to restore more than $330 million in funding to the university.
Chanting protesters forced trustees to take the budget vote in a private session. Those protesters also shattered a glass door leading into the Cal State Board of Trustees headquarters in Long Beach. Four protesters were arrested, including a San Diego State University graduate student. (A video of the arrest which was uploaded to YouTube is below.)
Find out more on this story, and see a clip of our October interview with the SDSU student who was arrested.
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The students' anger was understandable to SDSU senior Krista Parker, who was at the meeting as a representative.
“Since I started, tuition has increased every year," she said. "It’s extremely upsetting and I think every student is feeling it in their own way. Some students are having to increase their financial aid or are having to pick up another job, drop a major or a minor just so they can graduate in time.”
Trustees voted to increase tuition by 23 percent for this school year. With this next increase, tuition and fees for full-time San Diego State students will have more than doubled since 2007.
The increase passed in a 9-6 vote.
Several trustees voting against the measure said they could not support balancing the system's budget on the backs of students. Board Chair Herbert Carter said members could delay a decision on tuition, but that wouldn't change the fact that they are required to submit a preliminary budget to the governor in December.
"Somehow we have to reconcile our displeasure about the inability or unwillingness of the legislature or the governor's office to address these issues and how we send forth a budget for consideration as the governor builds his budget," he said. "We are giving these vague comments about let's do this and let's do that, but we haven't given any guidance to our staff. And it just cannot be 'Go pressure the legislature, go pressure the governor.' We need more than that."
Cal State and the University of California each had their state funding cut by $650 million this fiscal year.
California’s legislative analyst projects state revenues will be $3.7 billion behind the rosy projections legislators used to balance this year's budget. A shortfall that big would trigger another $100 million in cuts to each university system and a more than $1-billion reduction in funding for K-12 education.