Galgiani co-authors Middle Class Scholarship program for students at public institutions
by Merced Sun-Star
SACRAMENTO,- Assemblymember Cathleen Galgiani unveiled new legislation of which she is a co-author to create the Middle Class Scholarship program. Introduced by Speaker John A. Pérez, (D-Los Angeles), the proposal is designed to keep more money in the pockets of middle-income families with students attending the state’s public colleges and universities, according to a news release from her office.
“California’s public universities and colleges used to be a bargain for middle class parents,” Galgiani said in the release. “While low-income students could still rely on Cal Grants and Pell Grants, the middle class was forced to bear the burden of higher costs resulting from the national recession and budgetary shortfalls. Middle Class Scholarships make public universities and colleges affordable again and I am honored to be a coauthor on this important legislation.”
Since the 2003-2004 school year, CSU fees have increased 191 percent, UC fees have increased by 145 percent, and community college student fees have also increased significantly. Many middle-income families turn to increased use of student loans to cover the thousands of dollars in fee hikes. This leads to years of chronic debt, or worse, some students give up on the promise of higher education altogether. These are the most damaging things possible for the long term health of the economy.
All students at the CSU or UC with family incomes less than $150,000 that do not already have fees covered will receive a Middle Class Scholarship that cuts costs by two-thirds, the news release said:
Under this proposal:
· About 150,000 CSU families will save more than $4,000 a year;
· Nearly 42,000 UC families will see a savings of $8,169; and
· Community Colleges will receive $150 million to expand affordability efforts.
“California’s public colleges create tomorrow’s leaders,” Galgiani said in the release. “This investment in our future will be covered by closing a tax loophole that only benefits out-of-state corporations.”
This effort will require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, which means some Republican legislators will have to join Democrats in supporting the plan.