Some updates on what has been happening in Sacramento with a bill that the state Student Senate for California Community Colleges has been advocating for over the past 18 months, the Middle Class Scholarship Act (MCS). This bill was voted on around 1:00am this morning; generally bills are not voted on after midnight on August 31 since that is when their session ends, but due to the urgency and it requiring a 2/3 vote that allowed for an exception. A little background on the MCS, it was a bill designed to close the $1 billion a year tax loophole that allows out of state corporations to pay a lesser tax amount than businesses within California and the $1 billion it would bring back to California was to be allocated specifically for higher education. This bill would have reduced the cost of a student’s tuition to a UC or CSU by two-thirds if their parent’s income was $150,000 or less per year. Not to mention it would have provided the community college system $150 million annually to offset the budget cuts. This was all written in black and white, passed through the state Assembly, Senate Finance committee, but unfortunately failed to pass through the state Senate. It is a sad day to hear that this bill, that would have helped thousands of students at all levels of higher education, failed because Republicans felt larger businesses were more important than students being able to afford a college education.
There is a list of several Republican Senators who did not support this bill and allowed for it to fail, which I will pass along in a later post so you can call their offices and express your disappointment. The Student Senate for California Community Colleges, which represents the nearly 2.6 million community college students throughout California, will not be giving up. Now more then ever we need students like you and me to step up and let these Senators know education should be a higher priority than businesses and that without educated people there will be no future businesses. I encourage you to ask the Associated Students of Fullerton College to advocate and support the SSCCC in this fight for an affordable education. The 18-25 year old population is one of the largest groups that can make an impact, but also the largest who fail to vote during elections. There are two Propositions that will be on this year’s ballot that students need to be sure and support if they do not want to see drastic cuts to education. I will talk more about these bills in a future post because if one of them fails, it may destroy the California Community College system and cause some smaller colleges to shut their doors for good.
Students can make a change and we must stand up and make that change, but not by protesting, rather going to the voting polls and let our elected officials know education is a priority and we will not sit back and allow future cuts to take place. This is our time and our future! Let us unite and show them we are not passive, but fighters who will not let legislature take away what belongs to us…an affordable and quality education!
Until next time!
“One of the most powerful tools for empowering individuals and communities is making certain that any individual who wants to receive a quality education can do so” – Christine Gregorie