Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Students Rally against Budget Cuts
By Duane Campbell
Over 400 students , faculty and staff of the California State University –Sacramento rallied against increasing fees and cuts to their classes today, Sept.2,2009. Across the CSU students returned to find the 2009/10 academic year offers fewer class days as faculty are furloughed, much greater difficulty getting classes, and more limited services even as their fees have risen by one-third.
In response to state budget cuts to the universities, on July 21, the California State University Board of Trustees approved a fee increase requiring undergraduate students to pay $4,026 a year, an increase of about $1,000 over the previous year . In the last 7 years, during the governorship of Arnold Schwarzenegger, student fees at the CSU have increased 170 %. The budget cuts were caused by the national and international economic crisis created by the financial crisis of 2008.
Protestors included students, faculty and staff of the university. The rally and two days of informational picketing was organized by the California Faculty Association (SEIU/NEA). They were joined by Bill Camp, Executive Secretary of the Sacramento Central Labor Council, Duane Campbell of DSA and the Progressive Alliance, Mecha, the Associated Students, and others.
Polls show that a majority of California voters reject draconian cuts to education. The CFA proposes a new tax on oil extraction to fund the universities, but they have been unable to pass the necessary legislation where a 2-3 vote is required to raise taxes. During the February California budget crisis corporations were able to get an additional $2.5 billion tax decrease.