Earlier this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom released his 2021-22 budget proposal. His initial proposal calls for a $144.5 million increase in ongoing general fund spending for the CSU, $225 million in one-time monies, and a tuition freeze.

Other highlights include:

  • $15 million is designated for technological access, like high-speed internet, for all students, along with an increase to student mental health services. Both are sorely needed.
  • An increase of $30 million one-time dollars to support emergency financial assistance grants for full-time, low-income students, and other students who were previously working full-time, or the equivalent of full-time.

One word summed up CFA leadership’s initial thoughts on the initial budget numbers: encouraged.

“The Governor’s Initial Budget Proposal establishes a workable baseline for CSU funding,” said Steven Filling, CFA Political Action and Legislation Chair. “Now, it is up to us to work with legislators to augment that proposal and to engage with administration to ensure that CSU makes the most effective use of resources provided.”

While this brings some much-needed good news for our faculty and our students, CFA believes that California’s elected leadership must understand the realities of educating our students during this pandemic. CSU leadership has announced a return to campus for Fall 2021. As discussed above, in order for this to happen safely, the CSU should be provided with the necessary resources, i.e. proper investment and funds. This includes: safe, healthy, and clean facilities; additional hiring of mental health counselors for our students; proper vaccination protocols; protecting the jobs and sports for our coaches and student athletes; access and equity across the board; and no militarization of police and no racial profiling of our faculty and our students on campuses. CFA outlined these important steps in Our Way Forward, a long-term plan to defend quality higher education.

The governor’s proposal is the opening move in the budget process that includes a May revise and final approval in June. CFA looks forward to working with the California State Legislature and Governor Newsom over the next several months to secure necessary funding to enable us to best serve CSU students.

Our members also look forward to working with Chancellor Joseph I. Castro to usher in a fresh approach to advocacy on behalf of our students, our faculty, and our universities in his new role within the CSU system.

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