California is in an extremely fortunate position with a historic $75.7 billion budget surplus and last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom showed true leadership with a reinvestment of surplus dollars directly into communities that sorely need the funds.

In his May Revise to the proposed 2021-22 state budget, the Governor announced policies that align with our advocacy for our faculty as well as significantly reinvest in the CSU.

“CFA is very pleased to see Governor Newsom’s recognition that investment in the CSU pays big dividends,” said Steven Filling, CFA Political Action and Legislative Committee chair. “We appreciate his administration’s proposal as a first step in a commitment to more adequately fund the CSU.  We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislative leadership as the budget process continues. 

“However, we continue to be concerned about the CSU’s lack of transparency in funding and history of poor resource allocation decisions,” he added. “CFA will monitor CSU’s funding choices and will advocate aggressively for equitable funding that will enable the faculty and staff of the CSU to continue to provide the quality, affordable, accessible education California’s students deserve.”

The May Revise includes:

  • A $12 billion investment to help houseless Californians, which includes providing tens of thousands of people with housing placement and rental support and houselessness prevention for families and students.
  • Nearly $12 billion in $600 direct cash payments to Californians that earn up to $75,000, nearly two-thirds of Californians. An additional $500 for qualified families with dependents, including undocumented families. An additional $5.2 billion would be set aside for low-income renters to cover back-rent.
  • A $5.1 billion investment for immediate drought response and long-term water infrastructure needs, and an additional $2 billion to help Californians pay overdue water and utility bills.
  • A $20 billion investment in child learning opportunities and public schools. Part of the plan includes universal pre-K by 2024 and college savings accounts for 3.7 million Californian kids that is aimed to go toward either higher education or to start a business.

Additionally, in his revised budget, the Governor’s proposals will have direct impact on the needs of our faculty and students that existed long before the pandemic. Here’s what that means as a totality and for the California State University system.

Restoration of 2020-21 Budget Cuts and Increase to Base Funding by 5 Percent

In the Governor’s January budget proposal, the Governor proposed to increase base funding for CSU by 3 percent – or $111.5 million in ongoing General Fund. The May Revision increases that amount by $74.4 million for a total of 5 percent. In addition to this money, Newsom plans to restore the $299 million budget cuts from last year’s budget. We worked with Governor Newsom when he was Lt. Governor and regularly attended Board of Trustees meetings and we are grateful he understands the value of the CSU to California.

This means the $485 million in increased funding for 2021-22 Newsom’s revise maintains the Administration’s expectations that the CSU agree to the following conditions:

  • Maintain resident undergraduate tuition and fees at current levels for the 2021-22 academic year;
  • Take action to significantly reduce equity gaps with the goal of fully closing them;
  • Adopt policies furthering educational opportunities using online learning programs;
  • Better align student learning objectives with workforce needs; and
  • Create a new stand-alone dual admissions pathway enabling first-time freshman applicants to be considered for guaranteed admission to the CSU campus of their choice upon completion of an Associate Degree for transfer or another transfer pathway at a California Community College.

Transform Humboldt State University into the State’s Third Polytechnic University

The May Revise provides $433 million in one-time General Fund to support a capital projects transition plan to renovate science and laboratory facilities, as well as enhanced computing and telecommunications infrastructure as the campus transitions to a polytechnic university. Also in the budget is $25 million to support the transition of Humboldt to a polytechnic. This may have significant implications for the university and faculty there; we will be closely monitoring the process and making sure this does not reduce the quality of instruction being offered at HSU.

Invest in Faculty Professional Development

The May Revise maintains the Governor’s January proposal to provide $10 million of one-time General Fund to provide culturally competent professional development for CSU faculty, including leveraging technology to improve learning outcomes.

Establish a Low-Cost Student Housing Grant Program

The Governor’s May Revision budget proposal allocates $4 billion in one-time General Fund split evenly between 2021-22 and 2022-23 to establish a low-cost student housing grant program focused on expanding the availability of affordable student housing at the University of California, California State University, and the California Community Colleges.

Provide Resources for Mental Health and Technology

In his January budget proposal, the Governor proposed $15 million in ongoing General Fund to enable students to have necessary technological access to electronic devices and high-speed internet connectivity and to increase student mental health services. The Governor’s May Revision significantly increases the amount of money for student mental health for those students 25 and younger.

More details on the May Revise can be found at here.

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