Headline - Special Edition

CFA Special Headlines October 6, 2010

CSU System to Receive $365 Million Funding Increase

Governor keeps his promise to restore badly needed funding to California’s floundering colleges and universities

Sacramento – The California State University (CSU) system will receive a badly needed funding increase under the state’s new budget pact.

According to documentation provided by the joint Legislative Budget Conference Committee, which is to take up the plan today, the CSU system will receive $199 million to backfill previous cuts. The plan also includes funding for enrollment growth, which may be a $60.6 million increase. This is in addition to $106 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding allocated to the CSU by the federal government last week. In total, this budget support equates roughly to the $365 million augmentation proposed by the Governor earlier this year.

“This funding is a welcome change of trajectory for the 23 California State University campuses,” said Lillian Taiz, President of the California faculty Association and a professor of History at CSU Los Angeles.

Taiz continued, “The CSU truly is the economic engine for California and restoring this vital funding is an important part of putting our state back on the road to economic recovery.”

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, citing the need to fund California’s future first, announced an increase in public higher education funding in his initial budget proposal in January. The Governor later said that he would not sign a budget that did not include budgetary support for the CSU and UC. Democratic leaders in the legislature also prioritized public higher education in their budget proposals and fought hard to keep higher education funding in the final budget deal.

These pronouncements came on the heels of campus protests and demonstrations at California’s colleges and universities that captured the imagination of the public and illustrated the growing need to fund higher education.

“This funding increase is a much needed salve for our students and faculty who have seen their futures slipping away due to persistent budget cuts in recent years,” said Taiz. “This change of direction toward restoring the CSU budget would not have happened if we had not stood up and said that public higher education is important and worth fighting for.”

The $199 million would backfill a “one-time” reduction to the CSU budget for 2009/10. The $60.6 million would fund the expansion of enrollment by over 8,000 additional students system-wide.

Despite this additional proposed funding, the CSU’s level of state funded support remains far below that of previous years. Since 2007/08, the CSU has seen a reduction of $625 million in state support.

This lack of funding has resulted in harmful cost-cutting measures including massive student fee hikes, cuts to enrollment and the furloughs and layoffs of thousands of faculty and other employees.

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