State assemblyman Rudy Bermudez (D- Norwalk) has introduced a bill (AB 870) that would limit tuition increases no greater than two percent per year for those students enrolled in the California Community College system, University of California system, and the California State University system.
Due to severe state funding cuts, students enrolled in a California Community College were faced with a 136 percent tuition increase last year from $11 to $26 dollars per unit. The state budget reduction also prompted a 30 percent student fee increase for students enrolling at the UC level in falls of 2005. The CSU system was forced to deny education to over 10 thousand qualified students due to a 63 percent increase in undergraduate student fees.
“Astronomical tuition increases are outrageous and unacceptable,” said Assemblyman Bermudez in a press release late February. “Parents are already struggling to pay the steep costs of higher education.”
Nearly 30 percent of California’s families have an income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, so tuition increases have a huge impact on families. “It is the responsibilities of the legislature to make sure education remains affordable and accessible for all qualified students,” said Bermudez.
“As parents we dream of our children graduating from college,” continued Bermudez. “We must ensure that the doors of opportunity remain open for our children by not allowing students to be ‘priced’ out of a college education, due to financial barriers.”