STATEMENT: Lt Governor Newsom votes against UC tuition hike


SAN FRANCISCO - Lt. Governor and University of California Regent Gavin Newsom issued the following statement after voting in opposition to the proposed increase in student tuition fees at the University of California:

"I cannot support today's tuition hike. We are consumed by situational responses, always dealing with today's crisis and neglect of longer-term thinking. We can't pave over the old cow path and hope to turn a new corner. It is our job to reimagine what a twenty-first century system of higher education looks like, and one that rises to the demands of our time.

"Wages aren't keeping pace with the cost of education and the uncertainty over the Middle-Class Scholarship's future is profound and pronounced. It's in peril and that's consequential. Middle-class families face the reality of making too much to qualify for a tuition waiver, but not enough to meet rising college fees, rent, food, books, and other costs of living.

"A Federal Reserve survey found that more than 46-percent of Americans did not have enough money to cover a $400 emergency expense without diving deeper into debt or selling, including many who would be impacted by this tuition hike which, combined with increased campus fees, may amount to nearly $400 in increases.

"We talk about how much we value the middle-class, yet this decision doesn't demonstrate that commitment to the middle-class. New York is moving toward free education while California moves toward increasing its cost. We are heading in the wrong direction and today's decision has let Sacramento off the hook from reinvesting in public higher education and offering all Californians a place of ascent on the ladder of economic mobility."