Cal State Weighs Tuition Hike if Tax Measure Fails

SAN FRANCISCO — California State University trustees are set to vote on a plan that would raise tuition by 5 percent next year if voters reject Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative in November.

The finance committee of the CSU board of trustees is scheduled to consider the “contingency strategy” to address Proposition 30’s potential failure at its meeting in Long Beach on Tuesday. The full board is expected to vote Wednesday.

The committee is also set to vote on imposing new fees on Cal State students who repeat courses, take more than 16 units in a semester or have earned more than 150 units.

The proposed fees, which would go into effect in the fall of 2013 regardless of whether Proposition 30 passes, are aimed at increasing student access to courses and reducing the time it takes to graduate.

Under the contingency plan, the 5 percent tuition hike would go into effect in January if Proposition 30 fails, triggering a $250 million midyear funding cut to the 23-campus CSU system. In-state undergraduates would pay an additional $150 per semester.

If the ballot measure doesn’t pass, CSU would also raise the supplemental tuition paid by out-of-state students. The amount would increase by 7 percent, or $810 per year, to $11,970 per year starting in Fall 2013.

If Proposition 30 passes, CSU trustees will consider rescinding a 9 percent tuition increase that went into effect this fall. As part of Brown’s budget plan for 2012-13, the governor signed legislation that would give CSU and UC an additional $125 million each in 2013-14 if the university systems agree to freeze tuition this academic year.

The Nov. 6 ballot initiative would temporarily boost the state sales and income taxes to help close California’s ongoing budget deficit and avoid deeper cuts to K-12 schools and colleges.