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Expect Midyear Tuition Hikes if Prop. 30 Fails

A committee for the Cal State University board voted Tuesday for a Plan B that would raise tuition 5% in January if Governor Jerry Brown's education tax initiative fails in November.

A California State University Board of Trustees committee backed a contingency plan Tuesday that calls for mid-year tuition hikes if voters reject an education tax initiative on the November ballot. But the panel delayed a decision on a series of other proposed student fees.

The full board, which met in Long Beach, is expected to consider the proposed tuition hikes Wednesday.

Under the plan approved by the board's Committee on Finance, if Gov. Jerry Brown's education tax initiative fails in November, CSU tuition will jump by 5 percent beginning in January.

That would equate to $150 per semester for in- state students. Nonresident students would see a 7 percent increase in the tuition supplement fee they pay on top of regular tuition, effective in the fall of 2013. That equates to a roughly $810 per year increase, according to CSU.

``After months and months of meetings and suggestions, we figured that we cannot cut our way completely out of a $250 million reduction,'' CSU Chancellor Charles Reed told the committee. ``We need to increase our revenue for the second semester and for (2013-14).''

The increases would only be implemented if Proposition 30 fails on the November ballot.

The Prop. 30 initiative, championed by Brown to bolster the state's public education system, would increase the state income tax on those earning more than $250,000, for a seven year period; it would add a quarter-cent to the sales tax for four years.

If the initiative fails, it would trigger more state budget cuts, including $250 million for the Long Beach-based CSU system. Reed told the committee the tuition hikes would be needed to offset the loss of funding.

He said the loss would also be further offset by changing employees' health-care contributions, a series of system-wide cost-cutting measures and specific cuts at each of the campuses.

Reed also called for the imposition of three additional student fees, but the committee balked at immediately backing them and postponed a decision until its November meeting.

Those fees were a $372 per unit fee for seniors who have already earned 150 semester units; a $100 per unit fee for students who are repeating a course; and a $200 per unit fee for any course load of 17 or more units.

Reed said that trio of fees, which he wants to implement beginning in fall 2013, would raise $35 million a year. Reed noted that if Proposition 30 passes, CSU may be able to do away with a 9 percent tuition hike that took effect this fall, although it would create a funding shortfall during the current year -- since the university wouldn't see any additional state funds until the 2013-14 academic year.

Here are the CSU Campuses in the system:

 

--City News Service


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