The California Board of Trustees’ action last week shows an increasing dependency on annual, double-digit student fee hikes to cover for declining state support. It is a dependency that must be broken to maintain access and affordability for students.
Student Fees Hiked More Than 100 Percent
Student fees have climbed more than 100 percent in less than a decade. This is the seventh increase in eight years for students. Despite a study showing every dollar invested into higher education returns $4.41 to the California economy, students are carrying a heavier load when it comes to financing our universities.
“We must break the cycle of declining state support and rising student fees to keep the promise of access and affordability as spelled out in the Master Plan for Higher Education. That is why we are partnering on Assembly Bill 656, which would generate $1 billion a year, all for higher education, by placing a tax on oil companies.
Use Oil Company Revenue to Support Education
Texas has supported its education programs with a similar tax since the 1800s. When oil companies are experiencing record profits and students and faculties are facing larger class sizes, declining course offerings and aging equipment and facilities, it makes sense to use a small portion of revenue derived from oil companies to assist California’s higher education system.
Californians understand how important our public universities and colleges are to our state’s economic vitality. Keeping the doors to higher ed open to the next generation of teachers, nurses, engineers and other professionals is the only way to ensure that California possesses the high-quality, skilled workforce it needs to compete in a global economy.
Lillian Taiz is a professor of history at California State University, Los Angeles and President of the California Faculty Association.
Republished with permisssion from The California Progress Report, where it first appeared.