In this video two Orange County student activists Ethan Matsuda and Jackie Rodarte advocate for the passage of AB 656, Alberto Torrico’s Fair Share for Fair Tuition bill. AB 656 will help reverse the skyrocketing fees and tuition at our UC, CSU and community college campuses. While California is struggling with record deficits and education funding is being gutted, big oil is enjoying historic profits. But California is the only major oil producing state in the country that doesn’t charge big oil their fair share. Alaska imposes a 25% oil severance fee and Texas raises up to $400 million annually through a similar fee.
Hello.Â My nameâ€™s Ethan Matsuda and Iâ€™m a sixth grader at RaymondÂ Elementary in Fullerton.Â I love science and I want to be an astro physicist when I grow up. Thatâ€™s my California Dream. I want to go to college, a good college but Iâ€™m concerned that there may not be many opportunities for me or millions of young people throughout our state.Â You see, California now ranks 47th in spending on education and by the time Iâ€™m ready for college, will likely be last in investing in education which means that our stateâ€™s future is in serious jeopardy.Â Iâ€™ve heard our governor and others brag that California is the 8th largest economy in the world and that we are the best state. Â He even made fun of Iowa. Iâ€™m just an eleven year old kid, but if we are to remain great, why donâ€™t these politicians do the right thing and make sure we have a future? Message to governor, Iowa ranks higher than we doÂ in spending on public education.
Hi.Â My nameâ€™s Jackie Rodarte and I think that Ethanâ€™s right.
If we donâ€™t have access to college, what kind of jobs will we be prepared for?Â I attend Fullerton College but because of budget cuts, cannot enroll in enough classes needed to transfer to a UC. Still, I consider myself lucky because Iâ€™m in the system and am supported by good people here at the college. Â Thatâ€™s unfortunately not the case for 250,000 students who will be denied entry into the community colleges because of the devastating cuts.Â Thatâ€™s more than the total enrollment in the entire University of California. I would like to attend the UC, but am very worried by the ridiculous increases in tuition, which was raised over 30% just last year. Doesnâ€™t anybody have the backbone to do the right thing?
Behind me is an oilwell. Yes, California has oil. Â But did you know that we are the only state that doesnâ€™t tax our oil? Texas and Alaska tax theirs and much of oil taxes help fund higher education. California can do the same. Alberto Torrico, who is running for state attorney general, has a bold idea. Itâ€™s called the Fair Share for Fair Tuition bill and will tax big oil. They haveÂ made record profitsÂ from doing business in our state. The revenue, expected to be over 1 billion dollars will not solve this financial crisis, but it will be a great first step toward restoring our California Dream. So join Ethan and me and over 50,000 other Californians who signed on to support Â the Fair Share for Fair Tuition bill and letâ€™s make this state golden again.
Support Alberto Torricoâ€™s bill atÂ www.albertotorrico.com/fair-share-for-fair-tuition
Exxon Mobil, the worldâ€™s largest oil company, made record profits in recent years, Â reaping 45 billion in 2008 and 19 billion in 2009.Â
While Big Oil is steeped in Big Profits, furloughs are being imposed on University of California (UC) and CSU faculty and staff, cutting the paychecks of over 150,000 employees by up to 10 percent. Hundreds of faculty and staff have already been laid off. Student fees, meanwhile, have doubled since 2001, and an additional increase of over 30 percent was approved by UC officials in 2009.
In the California State University system, student fees have been increased by 33 percent, and the situation is expected to worsen dramatically in 2010. The California Community Colleges, 110 institutions with a total enrollment of 2.9 million students, have seen $840 million slashed in the last two state budgets with millions moreÂ in cuts expected.
A 2009 study by the Public Policy Institute of California projected the state will face a shortage of nearly 1 million college-educated workers by 2025 and warned that funding cuts would worsen the skills gap.