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April 16, 2014

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Tuition may freeze, but CSU teachers and students demand more

The last time we heard this news, Al Gore warmed the public to “An Inconvenient Truth,” while Justin Timberlake brought sexy back — yes, seven (gulp) years ago.

And for the first time since, students enrolled in the California State University system may find their wallets heavier than expected.

A new state budget from Gov. Jerry Brown proposes providing the CSU an extra $125.1 millon, on top of the Prop 30 dough. If the budget is passed, the extra cha-ching will freeze CSU tuition for the 2013-2014 fiscal year — and possibly even for the next four years.

The Governor will direct $10 million of the additional funding towards online options for high-demand classes that simply cannot hold enough physical bodies. Such “bottleneck” courses include lower-division general education requirements and pre-requisites for majors.

While CSU spokeswoman Stephanie Thara expressed gratitude for the extra funding, others aren’t so quick to join the party.

According to the CSU Employees Union, teachers haven’t received pay raises for more than five years. At the CSU Board of Trustees meeting on Jan. 22, John Orr of the CSU Employees Union pleaded his case. He said:

“Look at me and the thousands of middle class Californians I represent, who are dying and they need your help. Please, I’m begging you, when you do your budget, take us into consideration and throw us a bone.”

On the students’ side, Raymond Parenti-Kurttila, vice president of external affairs at SF State’s Associated Students, said there’s still more to be done:

“[The $125.1 million is] a step in the right direction, but the CSUs and California need to do a lot more to make good on their promise of affordable, accessible education.”

 

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