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April 3 Assembly Budget hearing to address state funding for the CSU

The Legislature is deep into hearings on what should be included in the 2018-19 California State Budget, and pressure is growing to step up funding for the California State University.

In advance of a legislative hearing focused on the CSU next week, 36 Assembly members have signed a letter requesting that UC and CSU funding “be a top priority” in the state budget.

The letter, which was initiated by Assembly Higher Education Committee Chair Jose Medina, recalls, “Nearly one-third of CSU funding was cut during the recession.” Noting persistent funding lags and student enrollment growth, the letter says, the Governor’s proposal to increase CSU funding by a mere $92 million only “provides an increase equal to half the rate of inflation.”

Since UC and CSU “are pinnacle examples of public funds benefitting the good of the public,” the letter says, “We have a responsibility to do more to keep our higher education institutions affordable—not only for the benefit of students but for California as a whole.”

Similarly, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is a candidate for governor and sits on the CSU Board of Trustees, told reporters last week that funding for public universities should be the Legislature’s “top priority” in budget negotiations to avoid tuition hikes, among other things,.

In that context, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance will hear arguments about how much CSU funding the committee should recommend to the full Assembly. CFA leaders and CSU students will address the hearing. Faculty can attend at 9 am on April 3 in State Capitol Room 447 or can view the hearing on the Assembly video/audio stream; the links will be posted there a few days before the hearing.

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