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Solution to UC Tuition Hikes: Oil Extraction Tax to Fund Education Initiative

Posted on July 15, 2011 by the Website Workers Counctil

PRESS RELEASE
July 15, 2011

Solution to UC Tuition Hikes (19% in one year): Oil Extraction Tax to Fund Education Initiative (Prop 1481) Raises $350 Million for UC, $350 Million for CSU, $1.09 Billion for K-12, and $1.5 Billion for Community Colleges Annually

Immediately following the UC Regents' second vote to increase tuition, bringing the total to 19% in one year, Rescue Education California coordinator and author of the Oil Extraction Fee to Fund Education Initiative, Professor Peter Mathews said that the Regents' vote would reduce educational opportunity for thousands of promising college students. Many of Mathews' own Cypress College students would be blocked from transferring to UC, and those who could afford to attend will face more cuts in class sections and programs, thereby delaying their graduation. UC tuition has been raised by over 100% since 2005!

Rescue Education California and Mathews have written Prop 1481, an Initiative Statute that would place a 15% extraction fee on oil drilled in California. This will provide $3 billion or more for California education, Kindergarten through College and University, for lowering tuition, restoring cut classes, rehiring professors and teachers, and reducing class size K-12. The Initiative prohibits the oil companies from passing the tax on to consumers in higher gas prices, and will face fines by the California Attorney General if they do. This money will be returned to every Californian in annual rebate checks.

By providing this badly needed money annually for California education, Prop 1481 will help retain jobs and create thousands of new jobs in California and make California competitive in the new global economy, by fully educating our students who will create new technologies, products and services.

Mathews, who started teaching Political Science in California in the 1970s noted that California's former governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pete Wilson received tuition free education at Santa Monica College (in the 1970s) and UC Berkeley respectively by paying a $6 service fee and a $37 service fee, respectively, for a full load of classes per semester. When Mathews and other Rescue Education California leaders mention this to today's college students, many are astounded. In response, many of them have made a commitment to return to their home campuses and cities across California and immediately began gathering signatures to place the proposition initiative on the California ballot.

Many organizations and individuals across California have begun gathering signatures and have endorsed the initiative officially. Some organizational endorsements include the California Community College Association Board CCA/CTA (Statewide), American Federation of Teachers, AFT 2121, San Francisco City College Local, Santa Monica College Faculty Association, United Auto Workers (UAW) Statewide Union Local 2865, University of California Graduate Students Union, United Faculty – North Orange County Community College District / CCA / CTA, San Francisco Labor Council, United Public Workers for Action (UPWA), Associated Students Inc. of California State University, Los Angeles, and Los Angeles City College Associated Students Organization.

Personal endorsements include (organizations and titles listed for identification purposes only)

Dr. Jack Scott, Chancellor, California Community Colleges, Betty Olson-Jones, President of the Oakland Education Association (OEA/CTA), Dr. Roger Scott, American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, Labor Council Delegate and Past President, John Avalos, San Francisco County Supervisor, Arlene Inouye, Treasurer, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA, Los Angeles, CFT Chapter), Democrat Eric Stevenson, State Assemblyman, New York, Dr. Michael Parenti, Political Scientist, Author, Gayle McLaughlin, Mayor of Richmond (San Francisco Bay Area), Mark Bowen, Long Beach City College District Board of Trustees member, Stas Margaronis, Businessman, President of Santa Maria Shipping Company, and many others.

For further information or interviews, please contact Peter Mathews, author and lead proponent of Prop 1481: cell (562) 234-3319 or email: go2mathews - at - msn.com,

Website: rescueeducationcalifornia.org.

 
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The Peace and Freedom Party is an open, multi-tendency, movement-oriented socialist party. We are united in our common commitment to socialism, democracy, feminism and unionism and our common opposition to capitalism, imperialism, racism, sexism and elitism.

These by-laws do not define socialism, nor do they identify the strategies and tactics of how to achieve socialism. We agree that socialism is necessary and that it will open up a democratic decision-making process for appropriate use of resources and distribution of labor.

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