February 10, 2012 (Sacramento)-- Assemblymember Marty Block (D-78th District), Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, has joined Speaker John A. Pérez on legislation that will keep college fees down for middle class families. The Middle Class Scholarship, which was introduced by Speaker Pérez today, will close a tax loophole for out-of-state corporations in order to cut college fees for middle income families.
“The Middle Class Scholarship is the first step to restoring our higher education system back to the first rate status it should have. Financial aid is available for the very poor, and the very rich can easily pay for fee increases. The broad middle class gets caught in the middle, unable to afford higher fees and ineligible for financial aid. It’s time for middle class taxpayers to get a break. This Middle Class Scholarship program provides that break,” said Block. “I am excited to join the Speaker in his efforts to ensure that every student in California has access to an affordable college education.”
Under the Middle Class Scholarship, approximately 150,000 California State University students will save $4,000 per year, resulting in students paying only $1,970 per year of the $5,970 system wide fees. For the University of California, it is estimated that approximately 42,000 students will save up to $8,169 per year, resulting in students paying $4,023 per year of the $12,192 system wide fees. Community Colleges will receive $150 million to expand affordability efforts.
“Affordable education is the key to meeting the demands of California’s growing workforce,” said Block. “In San Diego, professional and technical jobs have grown at twice the rate that was lost during the recession. We need to make sure we are turning out college graduates to fill these new jobs.”
The costs for the Middle Class Scholarship will be covered by eliminating the Single Sales Factor, the tax loophole that benefits out-of-state corporations. That will bring in $1 billion for the Middle Class Scholarship. This will require a 2/3 vote of the Legislature, which means some Republican legislators will have to join Democrats in supporting the plan.
“The promise of California can only be realized if promises made to California’s students are kept. The Middle Class Scholarship program fulfills that promise,” said Block. “I am confident that we can convince our Republican counterparts that the education of our young people is paramount to the future prosperity of our state,” said Block.
Assemblymember Marty Block represents the cities and communities of Bonita, Chula Vista, Lemon Grove, San Diego and Spring Valley.