CSU presidents describe worst-case scenario

May 24, 2011 7:53:55 PM PDT
There are new worries for students and employees of the California State University system. CSU is facing a huge budget cut of $500 million, and perhaps another one just as large, so the system is facing drastic measures to make ends meet.

"A 32 percent increase in tuition would be about $1,600 for every one of our students next year," said CSU Chancellor Charles Reed.

"Every one of the campuses would need to cancel many hundreds, if not thousands of classes," said CSU San Bernardino President Al Karnig.

"We already are turning away thousands of qualified students for this coming fall," said CSU Monterey Bay President Dianne Harrison.

The presidents of several Cal State Universities laid out the worst-case scenario for their schools if Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown can't get the four Republican votes need to raise more revenue. Cal State campuses could see another half-billion dollars less from the state if the higher tax rates on sales, income and vehicle registration don't get extended -- that's on top of the half billion in cuts already implemented.

Without more money, that assures students will be paying almost $7,500 a year in tuition next year, more than double what it was just three years ago.

"It wouldn't be so bad if we were getting more for education, but we're actually paying more and getting less," said CSU junior Rohaio Zafar.

Brown says negotiations with Republicans are positive. "My judgment is that we're getting close to getting the votes."

Just as Brown is feeling optimistic about getting the necessary Republican votes, anti-tax groups are ramping up the pressure. Attack ads now on the radio are denouncing Brown's tax plan.

Anti-tax activist, Grover Norquist, from the Washington D.C.-based Americans for Tax Reform, lobbied the Capitol Tuesday to remind Republicans they pledged not to raise taxes. "All that Gov. Brown is doing is instead of reforming government, he wants to raise taxes to pay for the same old, same old."

Brown says California voters should be determining the state's fate, not someone he calls a visiting idealogue from the Potomac River.


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