Action Alert: Green Party opposes AB955. No to Contract Education. Yes to Fair Taxes

The Green Party of California has sent the following letter opposing AB955, which would establish a two-tier educational system in California's Community Colleges.  Contact your state legislator here to tell them to vote 'no' on AB955.

May 15, 2013

Dear members of the California State Legislature,

The Green Party of California opposes AB955 (and similar self-funded extension course approaches), that place the financial burden of attending community college on the individual student, while enacting a de facto privatized, fee-for-service education mode. Such approaches run counter to the historic role of California's Community Colleges in providing a baseline of affordable higher education to all. 

By displacing the cost of education upon students instead of the state, AB 955 (and approaches like it) provide a disincentive and a justification to the Legislature to not provide sufficient funding for education, and perhaps even make future cuts that would incentivize even greater privatization of our higher education system. 

Instead of making progressive reforms to our tax system that could help better fund education - including by reforming Proposition 13, enacting an oil severance tax and a more progressive tax on the very highest income earners - AB 955 is a de facto tax increase on students. This is unjust to the young people who are the future of our state, a disproportionate number who are youth of color, saddling millions of them with mountains of debt, while robbing our future work force of the education it needs.

California must move aggressively towards a better funding of public education, for individual justice and collective health. AB 955 would be a step in the wrong direction, by institutionalizing a shift in education funding responsibility from the state to the student. Such a shift can only lead to a greater commodification of education, something the Green Party believes is unequivocally a matter of collective responsibility.

With a just tax system within a healthy, ecologically-oriented economy, the Green Party of California believes it is within our means to ultimately provide free public education for all.  That's why the Green Party opposes AB 955 and instead seeks to build on the short-term reprieve passage of Proposition 30 provided, to craft long-term progressive tax reform in our state.


Sanda Everette, Alex Shantz
Co-coordinators, state Coordinating Committee
Green Party of California