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Public Statements

Issue Position: Education & Tuition

Issue Position

By:
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Fully Fund Higher Education

As our next Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom is committed to fully funding higher education in California.

The University of California (UC) system currently counts over 191,000 students and more than 1.34 million alumni. The California State University (CSU) system is even larger, with well over 400,000 currently enrolled students and nearly 50,000 members of faculty and staff.

Because California's Lieutenant Governor sits on both the UC Board of Regents and the CSU Board of Trusties, he or she is responsible for how the system of higher education is run in this great state.

In November, when California voters choose Gavin Newsom to be our next Lieutenant Governor, they will select a candidate who is absolutely committed to fully fund higher education in California.

Simply put, cutting the UC and/or CSU budgets would greatly hinder California's economy. California's once ground-breaking system of higher education exerts an influence even broader than the 100,000 plus graduates the systems produce every year. For decades, the intellectual power of the UC and CSU systems have been the driver of the state's world-class "knowledge economy." The recent $800 million cut in the budget for public higher education has resulted in larger classes, skyrocketing fees for students (including a 32 percent hike at all UC schools), increased workloads and diminished salaries for faculty and staff. As a direct consequence of this cut, UC schools have granted admission to more out-of-state students, who take the place of deserving, but lower-paying, California high school students.

Gavin believes public higher education in California represents the best return on investment California's budget can buy. For every dollar the UC system receives in state research funding it, it secures six more in federal and private research dollars.

Though the vast gap in California's budget must be closed, using higher education as a tool to cut the deficit is counterproductive. Pricing out tomorrow's "knowledge workers" will only worsen California's dire fiscal projections.

Despite rising public concern, governmental and higher education leaders have shown little motivation or capacity to develop a new framework to address these problems. It is ironic that the state that first put forth the principle of universal college access has reneged on that principle at a time of major demographic and economic transitions.

Following Gavin's recommended idea of finding the money to fully fund higher education would:

* Allow current high school students in California access to the UC and CSU systems;
* Maintain top-notch University-run hospitals;
* Keep eight UCs in the top 100 in the US News rankings;
* Prevent the shortage of up to one million college-educated workers by 2025[1];
* End furloughs and pay cuts for faculty and staff;
* Cease the poaching of scholars by other states' universities.

In addition to committing California to fully fund higher education, as Lieutenant Governor, Gavin would prioritize:

* Ensuring all California children have access to pre-school;
* Limiting the number of lay-offs to California's K-12 teachers on account of budget shortfalls;
* Continuing to streamline processes and reduce costs at the UC and CSU systems;
* Keeping fees low at California's 112 community colleges;
* Ensuring that California's community colleges are able to handle all students who desire to take classes;
* Encouraging California's college students to seriously consider entering the teaching profession upon graduation.

Mayor Gavin Newsom's Record of Accomplishment on Education

* Gavin is committed to innovative solutions that will help turn schools around and better prepare students for the 21st century economy.
* Education funding remains a priority for San Francisco even as the state has cut more than $5 billion from its education budget.
* Kindergarten to College was launched in the summer of 2010 and provides every Kindergartener with a seeded college savings account.
* In April 2009, Gavin released some $24.5 million from the city's rainy day fund to prevent the layoffs of 405 San Francisco public school teachers.
o Gavin is committed to a public-public partnership between the San Francisco and teachers that provides for education quality and maintains a sound school system.
* Through the Mayor's innovative efforts, San Francisco guarantees education opportunities from preschool through college:
o Preschool for All has earned national recognition, and now all four year-olds in San Francisco have the opportunity to attend preschool programs;
o Afterschool for All, a series of programs for over 26,000 school-aged children in San Francisco, providing $20 million worth of safe, structured, and educational afterschool environments for students;
o SF Promise, recently launched by Mayor Newsom, ensures a place in at SF State for all current San Francisco public school students in the 6th grade or above who earn a high school diploma. The City provided $500,000 in funding in FY 08-09 and FY09-10; and $381,000 in congressional directed funds were received through the support of Speaker Pelosi.
* San Francisco is the highest performing urban school district in California.
* Guaranteed a four-year college education to all 6th graders in the San Francisco Unified School District, including full tuition assistance when needed.


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