The California Faculty Association will protest the CSU tuition increase in Sacramento
Jennifer Eagan, California Faculty Association president, encouraged students and CSU members in a Tuesday conference call to take a bus to Sacramento to protest state tuition increases.
Eagan said a public display like the planned rally at the California State Capitol in Sacramento on April 4, can enhance the chances of California Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators revising a budget proposal of $92 million for the CSU system next year.
“I think it does require consistent and escalating pressure from now to the May (revision of the budget), to when they vote on the budget in June,” Eagan said.
Brown’s proposed sum does not keep up with inflation, making this proposal a budget cut, according to the faculty association.
The five specific demands the CFA asks of Brown include: reinvestment in public universities, stop student fee hikes, end racism and discrimination, defend academic freedom and protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and undocumented students in the CSU system, Eagan said.
The push for change stems from an ongoing decline of financial support from the state in the CSU system, which is shown by an increase in “qualified” students being turned away from the 23 Cal State Universities, Eagan said.
“From 2008-2012, the CSU lost $1 billion of state funding. Due to budget constraints, the university has been forced to turn away 20,000 to 30,000 fully qualified students each academic year for the past six years,” according to the CSU website.
The positive effect college degrees have on California outweigh how much it will cost the state to educate more individuals, according to the faculty association.
Eagan said for every dollar spent by the state on the CSU system, the return on the state economy is between four or five dollars.
“So this is not so much a spending of money, this is an investing in the future that is going to ultimately be paid back as we have fabulous college-educated folks who are out working in the economy and being good taxpayers and citizens,” Eagan said.
The Public Policy Institute of California, an independent nonprofit research institution, warns if current trends in the labor market persist, California will have a shortage of 1.1 million workers holding a bachelor’s degrees by 2030. The institute also predicts the demand for highly educated workers will exceed the supply of available workers.
“In bad times there wasn’t enough money and now we’re in good times, and there still isn’t enough money. And we think that it’s starting to sound like the governor doesn’t care about public higher education and about educating our qualified students,” Eagan said.
Eagan hopes the rally will grab the attention of Brown and California legislators.
The California Faculty Association has set up an area on its website for students to sign up for bus rides to Sacramento.