SACRAMENTO — Legislation allowing parents to pay for their children's tuition at a California public university years in advance at today's prices was approved Monday by a key Senate committee.
A 7-0 vote sent the measure by Assemblyman Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica) from the Appropriations Committee to the Senate floor after brief debate. It previously passed the Assembly by a 42-37 vote.
In brief, the legislation is designed to reduce parental fears about being unable to send their children to the University of California or a California State University campus because of increasing tuition costs.
It would permit parents to prepay the tuition at today's prices by installments. The state would then invest the money in stocks and bonds and other financial securities.
When a child graduated from high school, he or she would be guaranteed a four-year college education, regardless of what the cost of tuition had risen to, provided that the child met all other entrance requirements.
If the child decided not to go to college, chose to go to a private school or one out of state, or did not meet the entrance requirements, the money would be refunded to the parents with interest.
Hayden amended his bill to add a savings plan that would assist families who want their children to attend a private university.
Parents would be allowed to buy special state-issued tax-exempt bonds in small denominations. When a child is ready to enroll in college, the bonds could be cashed in at their full value and applied toward tuition at any authorized college or university.
The Assn. of Independent California Colleges and Universities supported the bill.