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Associated Students | San Diego State University

A Resolution in Support of CA Assembly Bill 970

Author: California State Student Association

WHEREAS,    The Associated Students (AS) is the officially recognized voice of the students of San Diego State University (SDSU); and

WHEREAS,    the AS promotes student interest through advocacy and representation; and

WHEREAS,    in the last four years the California State University (CSU) system-wide fees  have almost doubled from $3,048 in 2008/09 to $5,472 in 2011/12; and

WHEREAS,    reductions in state support have forced the CSU Board of Trustees and the University of California (UC) Board of Regents to make retroactive fee increases, resulting in numerous breach of contract lawsuits including: Keller v. Board of Trustees, and Kashmiri v. UC Board of Regents; and

WHEREAS,    students and their families have struggled to afford the rapid rise and unpredictable nature of system-wide fees; and

WHEREAS,    the Donahoe Higher Education Act of 1960, referred to as the California Master Plan for Higher Education, which promises a “tuition free” education, has come under threat in recent years; and

WHEREAS,    since the Maddy-Dills Act was allowed to sunset, the state has not had a policy guiding the raising of system-wide student fees at the UC and CSU leaving students vulnerable; and

WHEREAS,    the California State Student Association (CSSA) is the officially recognized voice of the 412,000 students of the CSU system; and

WHEREAS,    the CSSA is helping to shape, sponsor, support and advocate for Assembly Bill 970 (AB 970), the Working Families Student Fee Transparency and Accountability Act, by Assemblymember Paul Fong; and

WHEREAS,    AB 970 protects the tuition free vision of California’s Master Plan for Higher Education by maintaining the term fee when referring to the cost of education; and

WHEREAS,    unlike system-wide fees, campus policies exist that guide adjustments made to campus based mandatory fees that include student consultation and notification; and

WHEREAS,    AB 970 re-establishes a process for setting system-wide fees absent in state policy; and

WHEREAS,    AB 970 mandates student consultation with the recognized statewide student association prior to publicly noticing a proposed increase in system-wide fees; and

WHEREAS,    AB 970 requires a public comment period on any proposed system-wide fee increase in which the Board of Trustees and Board of Regents encourage, solicit and receive public comments on the proposed fee increase, making them more responsive and responsible to the public; and

WHEREAS,    AB 970 requires a waiting period prior to fee implementation giving students and families time to gather the resources necessary to pay for the cost of education; and

WHEREAS,    AB 970 codifies existing policy that no less than 33% of student fee revenue shall be set aside for institutional financial aid; and

WHEREAS,    AB 970 requires the UC and CSU to submit expenditures for revenue derived from fees to the Legislative Analyst in order to justify any fee increases and prevent fees from being raised more than they absolutely need to be; and

WHEREAS,    should there be an immediate need to raise fees on behalf of the Board of Trustees, the Legislature may circumvent the process outlined in AB 970 and raise fees themselves, putting pressure and public attention on the Legislature; and therefore be it

RESOLVED,  that the Associated Students of San Diego State University supports the    motivation and spirit behind AB 970, however larger support for this bill would be dependent on a revision of the fee increase timeline; and be it further

RESOLVED,  that this resolution be distributed widely to the California State Student Association, Assemblymember Marty Block, Senator Christine Kehoe, Assemblymember Paul Fong, the Speaker of the Assembly John A. Perez, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, and Governor Jerry Brown.