Aug 3, 2015
Chicago’s City College board voted a steep hike in tuition – some students’ costs will jump 73%. Chicago City Colleges serve more than 120,000 students, overwhelmingly working class. A big portion of students attend part-time – they also work or have child-care responsibilities. And they will suffer the biggest increases.
The City College Board, made up of Mayor Emanuel’s cronies, is raising the tuition to cover the entirety of this year’s budget deficit. That is, they are forcing the students to pay for the financial crisis.
Students were notified of the price hike just a day and a half before the vote was taken. Many had already paid, and so were mailed notice that they owed more money.
City Colleges provide a necessary education for the working class. Instead of making students pay for the budget shortfall, the city should get money from those that have it: take back the millions given to wealthy corporations, like United Airlines, Marriott and Hyatt hotels, and Miller-Coors. Tax the downtown trading firms. Tax the big corporations, many of which pay no taxes at all. These are the people who create Chicago’s overall budget shortfall.
Some students at City Colleges have gotten together to try to organize against the tuition hike. The administration has already reacted – threatening some of the organizers, including threats to revoke the student visas of certain foreign students. Their fight is the same fight as the one in the public schools, and for other public services. Working people in Chicago have every interest to support and join all of these fights, to wage the broad struggle that could make Emanuel and his wealthy pals step back.