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Resolution Calling for Full Public Funding for Higher Education

WHEREAS the State of California made a commitment in 1960, through the Master Plan for Higher Education, to a high quality, free, and universally accessible higher education for all Californians. However, since the year 2000 the state’s support per student at UC and CSU has dropped by 40%, student fees have exploded by 250%, 270%, and 200% at the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges respectively, and in the past twelve years California residents have graduated with $12 billion in student debt.

WHEREAS The privatization model forced upon systems through a policy of state disinvestment from higher education has led to skyrocketing student fees, historic and disastrous levels of student debt, and misallocated university administrative priorities. Privatization further created a prohibitively intricate and complex financial aid matrix for low income families to access higher education.

WHEREAS In recent times, support for such policies has increased amongst the public; according to a December 2016 poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, 67% of respondents agreed public colleges and universities did not receive enough state funding and 72% agreed the cost of attendance keeps students out. A series of proposals for arriving at such a policy conclusion have been set forth across the state, such as the “The $48 fix: Reclaiming California’s Master Plan for Higher Education.”

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the San Diego County Democratic Party supports a recommitment to the Master Plan through increased public funding to restore academic quality and per student funding to historical levels and the elimination of tuition at the UC, CSU, and CC. Every in-state student ready and willing should have the access and opportunity to attend a public college or university at no additional cost. The financial aid system should be used to support living costs of low and middle income students while attending college.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the San Diego County Democratic Party supports restoring full public funding for the three public higher education segments’ (University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges) core operations through progressive taxation applying to all Californians.