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California assemblywoman introduces bill to freeze Cal State tuition until 2020

Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) speaks at the Capitol in Sacramento in 2014. (Associated Press)
Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) speaks at the Capitol in Sacramento in 2014. (Associated Press)

A state assembly bill introduced this month would prohibit California State University and the California Community Colleges from increasing tuition and any mandatory student fees until the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

Dubbed the “Student Protection Act,” Assembly Bill 393 cites rising student debt and past tuition increases that outpaced inflation and cost of living as reasons for the proposed freeze.

“In 1985, CSU students had to work 199 hours at minimum wage to pay tuition and fees for an academic year at the CSU; in 2015, students had to work 682 hours at a minimum wage job to cover those costs,” the bill states. “According to CSU systemwide data, three out of four CSU students today work more than 20 hours per week.”

AB 393 was authored by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) and sponsored by the California Faculty Assn., the union representing about 27,000 faculty members across Cal State’s 23 campuses. Quick-Silva plans to publicly announce the bill Tuesday morning, flanked by faculty and students.

The introduction of AB 393 follows a vote last month by UC Regents to end their tuition freeze after six years as a way to fill a looming gap in state funding. Cal State leaders, facing similar budget pressures, also are considering a tuition increase and are expected to vote in March.

AB 393 also "urged" the UC Regents to “adopt policies that are consistent" with the provisions of the bill.

Read the full text of AB 393 here

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