SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California students skipped class again, Thursday.
This time, pushing lawmakers to fund higher education.
“I attend the No. 1 public university in the world, and my sole focus should be obtaining an education yet like over 4,000 of my peers I have been homeless,” one student testified.
Students told lawmakers they’re frustrated over state funding for their universities.
“I understand the motivation to put money for a rainy day is significant but to be extremely blunt today is that rainy day,” another student testified.
At a time when the state has a $7 billion budget surplus, both CSUs and UCs say they’re being underfunded.
Governor Jerry Brown is proposing $92 million for each. Officials are asking for double that, to avoid additional tuition spikes.
“Tuition increases are being initiated to brace against Governor Brown’s incredibly stingy budget for public higher education, and really that ends up privatizing our university system because it’s placing the burden of the public universities onto students and their families,” said President Of CA Faculty Association Jennifer Eagan.
But the legislative analyst’s office says tuition rates depend on budget constraints.
“If you look at how tuition has changed over a decade, you can see every year it remains flat followed by notable spikes … and those spikes reflect years were the budget worsened due to recession,” said Jason Constantouros of the Legislative Analyst’s Office.
And that unpredictable cost of college is enough to get exhausted students to Sacramento, to make sure they’re not just numbers on a piece of paper.
“It’s just too important to give up, too important to not get up out of bed at 5 am and not to drive all the way down here,” said UC Santa Cruz student Davon Thomas.
He hopes his dedication is contagious because next month students are planning to rally at the Capitol, by the hundreds.
They’re promoting it with the hashtag #fundthedream.