Restore California's Master Plan Commitment to Fully Fund Higher Education & Fight Privatization

Resolution Number SD09.18

Restore California’s Master Plan Commitment to Fully Fund Higher Education & Fight Privatization

California has the largest system of public-supported higher education in the world and the state's 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education guarantees every California student a quality, affordable education and clearly establishes higher education as a public good provided by the state for its citizens with significant benefits accruing to the entire state, and few institutions play a more critical role in propelling economic development on both a local and statewide basis and providing good jobs with health care benefits and a living wage for Californians; and

WHEREAS, in the last decade, the Master Plan has been undercut by huge budget cuts at the California State University, University of California and California Community Colleges and a huge increase in tuition and student fees at CSUs, UCs and community colleges, and efforts to create a privatized model by contracting out jobs of college and university employees, at a time when the state's share of investment in higher education has plummeted as some have advocated that the state abandon its commitment to be the primary source of basic programs in an attempt to shift more funding responsibility to students and private donors, the latter whose funds historically went for scholarships and additional initiatives; and

WHEREAS, abandoning the commitment of the state to be the primary funding source for basic higher education programs and contracting out jobs will lead to continuing declines in the quality, accessibility, and affordability of higher education, meaning rising tuition and decreasing access, and it would take only a small fraction of the state budget to restore higher education to 2001 levels of per-student funding and student fees;

that the California Democratic Party calls for the restoration of the 1960 Higher Education Master Plan and urges all Democratic lawmakers and higher education leaders to fight efforts to abandon the state's commitment that public funds be the primary source of support for basic programs, that the lawmakers and officials ensure that tuition and per-student funding be restored to 2001 levels, and work to ensure that private donations be used for their historical mission of funding scholarships and additional initiatives for higher education; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party send a copy of this resolution to all Democratic state legislators, the UC Board of Regents, the CSU Board of Trustees, and the Chancellor for the California Community Colleges.

Amended by resolution committee chairs
Submitted by Karen Bernal, AD5, Chair, Progressive Caucus;
Sacramento County DCC; Laurence Zakson, AD 42; Deana Igelsrud, AD 47;
Rose Roach, AD 26; and San Joaquin County DCC

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Adopted by the Executive Board
Of the California Democratic Party
At its Executive Board Meeting
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Hotel, San Diego
November 15, 2009

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