CSU Trustees, White held accountable for inadequate funding request

CFA blasted Chancellor Tim White and CSU Trustees last week for sending a budget request to Gov. Brown that fell short of the adequate funding the CSU needs to serve students.

In an open letter, CFA calls on the CSU administration to fight harder to keep the CSU public and open to all qualified students, and make good on the promise made by California’s Master Plan for Higher Education.

The CSU Board of Trustees requested $263 million in additional state funds for the 2017-18 fiscal year—far less than what the system needs, and deserves. For years, the state has continually disinvested in the CSU, and the Trustees’ failure to ask for adequate funding makes it complicit in this disinvestment, the letter states.

“Your inadequate funding request effectively invites another student tuition increase, shifting even more of the burden from those entrusted to protect California’s public higher education system onto our students and their families,” states the letter, which was written by CFA President Jennifer Eagan.

“Make no mistake, race matters in these budgetary decisions. Today’s high school and community college students are the most racially and ethnically diverse in the state’s history. Over the years in which this demographic shift occurred, we see a simultaneous, systematic, and chronic reduction in state funding for the CSU.”

CFA detailed the shift in funding in our January 2017 report “Equity Interrupted: How California is Cheating Its Future.” Apparently, the lessen from that report wasn’t taken to heart.

“The Chancellor’s Office prepared, and the Board of Trustees approved, a 2018-19 budget that fails even to aspire to a level of funding the system needs and deserves right now, nor does it tackle this longer-term challenge to establish equitable access to education for today’s students.

“This is unconscionable,” Eagan writes.

CFA is calling on the Chancellor, Trustees, and lawmakers to right the wrong of years of chronic underfunding and provide a budget increase that would include funding for an at least five percent increase in student enrollment for the 2018-19 academic year. 

Click here to read the open letter.