FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2017
Contact: Amy Hines-Shaikh
Director, Reclaim Higher Education Coalition
Tel: (562) 201-9243
Contact: Jonathan Abboud
Vice President, Santa Barbara CCD Board of Trustees
Tel: (310) 734 9791
California Democratic Party Endorses Tuition-Free Public College
“$48 Fix” Can Make Higher Ed Accessible to All – And Alleviate Student Debt Crisis
SACRAMENTO, CA – Just days before a state Assembly hearing on the Master Plan for Higher Education California, the California Democratic Party passed the resolution “Reclaim Public Higher Education” on Sunday that would make California first-in-the-nation with tuition-free public colleges. The resolution states that the California Democratic Party fully supports a return to the Master Plan of 1960 by eliminating all tuition and fees at the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges for all students. The resolution would help address the national student debt crisis by providing cost-of-living financial aid while students are in college.
The resolution refers to the “$48 Fix” as a way to finance this return to the Master Plan’s definition of free public college for all residents of California. The $48 Fix is a progressive income tax costing just $48 or less a year for half of the taxpaying population; this would eliminate all tuition and fees at public colleges in California. The $48 Fix policy paper can be viewed at 48fix.org/policy-paper. Advocates can endorse the plan at 48fix.org/take-action/join-the-movement/.
“We look forward to working with Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) and the esteemed members of the select committee to reaffirm the Master Plan with full funding and sufficient state investment as outlined in the $48 Fix and the resolution passed by the Democratic Party this past weekend,” said Amy Hines-Shaikh, Director of Reclaim CA Higher Education Coalition, delegate to the California Democratic Party, and a co-author of the resolution.
The $48 Fix would also invest greatly in schools so that students can earn top-quality education in a timely manner, said Jonathan Abboud, also a delegate and co-author and elected Community College Trustee. “The California Democratic Party’s endorsement is a clear sign that now is the time to act to bring back tuition-free higher education to California,” said Abboud. “Breaking down the barriers to higher education is a crucial step to ensuring a better future for all Californians and one without the burdens of student debt.”
Said Daraka Larimore-Hall, Vice Chair of the California Democratic Party: “100 years ago progressives fought for and won universal K-12 education and the middle class prospered as a result. It is clear 12th grade no longer cuts it. We must expand free education to include public colleges so that everyone can have an opportunity at a successful middle class life.”
We are the Reclaim CA Higher Education Coalition. Our mission is to reclaim the Donahoe Act of 1960, otherwise known as California’s Master Plan for Higher Education. We advocate for a return to its vision of affordable, accessible, quality public higher education for all Californians. In our advocacy, we include all stakeholders, such as students, parents, workers, unions, community groups, faith leaders, educational organizations, elected representatives, and the faculty, staff, and administrators from the higher education systems: the California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of California.