Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Initiative Seeks CSU Fee Freeze

An organization called Students and Families for Tuition Relief Now is collecting signatures to get a CSU/UC tuition freeze on the November 2008 ballot.

The initiative, titled the "College Affordability Act of 2008," would freeze undergraduate fees at the California State University and University of California for five years. After that, the fees could only increase as much as the California Consumer Price Index. The initiative would also impose an additional 1% tax on income over $1 million, and 60% of that revenue would go to the CSU and UC systems.

The estimated increase in state revenues would be $2 billion from the new tax. The lost revenue from the fee freeze is described as "potentially exceeding $1 billion" during the five-year freeze.

The initiative also provides for some oversight of how the funds are spent, establishing a College Affordability Funding Accountability Panel composed of administrator, faculty, and student representatives. The panel would be required to review how the new tax revenue is spent and provide an "accountability update" describing in detail how the funds were used on each campus. That report would have to be available to the public on the CSU and UC web sites.

The full text of the proposed initiative is contained in the petition, linked below.


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