Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva Reacts to UC Regents Reducing Tuition, Calls for Continued Regent Accountability

Thursday, July 19, 2018

(Orange County, CA) – After many efforts to secure more funding for schools, and freezing tuition costs for state universities, Asssemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D – Orange County) released the following statement regarding the decision by the University of California (UC) Board of Regents to decrease in tuition for the 2018-19 academic year.

“It is about time the UC Regents gave middle class families a break. Too many families are struggling to give their children better lives. Needlessly raising fees while there are secret coffers of money, and a bloated bureaucracy that should be cut, is ridiculous,” said Quirk-Silva. “A $60 decrease is a step in the right direction, but ultimately not enough. Tuition and fees still remain unaffordable for many.”

Earlier this year, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva introduced Assembly Constitutional Amendment 27 (ACA 27), which checks the power of the UC Regents and the UC President. The legislation would require greater transparency and openness in setting salaries, and how the UC system spends money. Quirk-Silva called on the UC Regents to halt any discussion of a tuition increase until the public had a better understanding of the UC system’s financial standing.

"My broader concerns have been somewhat allayed by the recent news of a tuition decrease, though my continued focus is transparency and accountability, and making sure funding continues to benefit students. Everyday Californians struggle to afford higher education, while most UC Regents are multi-millionaires,” said Quirk-Silva. “I will continue to stand by students and advocate for more relief from the burden of college debt. The Regents must remain accountable.”

In 2016, Quirk-Silva authored Assembly Bill 393: The Student Protection Act in response to the financial challenges faced by today’s college students, including deepening debt and long work hours necessary to supplement their educational costs. The bill would have placed a moratorium on student tuition and fees at California’s public community colleges and state universities.

In 2017, the state auditor uncovered $175 million reserve held by the administration of the University of California. Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva participated in a joint hearing to discuss the recent state audit of the University of California Office of the President titled, “The University of California Office of the President: It Failed to Disclose Tens of Millions in Surplus Funds, and Its Budget Practices are Misleading.” She then called for the immediate resignation of UC President Janet Napolitano.