Proposition 92 shot down

Proposition 92, which would have reduced student fees and injected money into K-14 funding stabilization and student fee reduction act, was voted down in the primary elections on Feb. 5.The proposition, also known as the Community College Governance, would have lowered community college fees from $20 to $15 per unit and limited the ability of legislators to increase fees, according to Daniela Perdomo, a Los Angeles Times staff writer. “Unfortunately the state budget $14 billion deficit influenced it not being passed,” said Pierce College President Robert Garber. Scott Lay, co-author of the proposition and president of the Community College League of California, has been working on lowering community college fees for more than five years.”I think community college fees are going to be on the table for discussion in Sacramento,” said Lay. “Proposition 92 started in 2003 with a 10,000 student march in Sacramento to raise visibility.” Garber feels strongly that community college fees will not be raised anytime soon.”I have many friends in legislature,” Garber said. “They are not anxious to increase fees when they just worked hard to reduce them.” Students are also concerned that the act was denied and feel that community college fees should be affordable.”I think that it should be $15 a unit,” said David Gluck, a first-year Pierce student whose major is undecided. “They should make it as cheap as they can make it because students can’t afford that much, or else they would all be going to four-year universities.”Students at University of California schools are expected to have a 7.4 percent fee hike and Cal State schools are due for a 10 percent rise in fees this year, according to the LA Times.Governing bodies of the UC and CSU systems unanimously opposed Proposition 92, with worries that it would take away from the state’s discretionary funding pool, from which they receive their money.Theresa Wheeler, manager of the Californians for the Fair Education Funding campaign against Proposition 92, felt that fee reductions were unnecessary. “The group points out that the neediest community college students-27 percent-already qualify for a fee waiver and don’t pay fees,” Wheeler said, referring to The California Board of Governors Fee Waiver.Applications for the BOG fee waiver are available in the Financial Aid office at Pierce, located to the right of the Student Store. “About three million California voters voted yes for Proposition 92 but we still have a long way to go,” said Lay. “Our system is more unified now than it has been in the past and we are starting to be recognized and treated with respect, as are the UC and Cal State Schools.”Despite the failure of the proposition, Garber showed confidence in the college district.”The Los Angeles Community College District does very well. There is a recognition that we offer a lot of bang for the buck,” said Garber.


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