Gov. Brown rails against CSU funding; 30,000 qualified students turned away yearly

At Governor Brown’s news conference on his 2018-19 state budget plan last week, a reporter asked him about the CFA PopUp Art Installation outside calling for more funding to admit 18,000 more qualified students to the CSU.

Brown dismissed the thought, declaring, “They are going to have to live within their means.” CFA is not sure who the Governor thinks “they” are, but we do know who will suffer the consequences of his indifference—current CSU students, and tens of thousands of eligible students who have not been admitted.

“Responsible leaders know that the CSU—the state’s People’s University—is critical to California,” said CFA President Jennifer Eagan. “We all, including the Governor, have an obligation to do everything we can to ensure that more students get the opportunity to enter the university and to graduate without incurring crippling debt.”

She added, “If, after they have followed all of the rules and have qualified to attend college, we fail to give our students an opportunity in the CSU, then we have not only failed them but we fail California. All the research shows that our state’s economy needs every college educated citizen we can graduate. We ignore making a greater investment in public higher education at our peril.”

Furthermore, CFA points out, as have many religious leaders over decades, that a budget is a moral document. It expresses a society’s values and priorities. In that context, CFA Vice President Charles Toombs pointed out to KPBS-NPR in San Diego that CFA’s call for funding to add 18,000 slots for students is about providing access for the state’s high school graduates, who are now predominantly students of color. “Those are the students we’re turning away now,” Toombs said

The story is spreading widely. On social media and through the news, the word is finally getting out that the CSU is turning away some 30,000 qualified students who are fully eligible under the state’s Master Plan for Higher Education.

Learn more here, and see news reports here.

PHOTO: CFA docents discussed inadequate state funding for CSU enrollment with news media and legislative aides at an Art PopUp at the State Capitol. Left to right: CFA President Jennifer Eagan, CFA CSU Sacramento Chapter President Margarita Berta-Ávila, and CFA Associate Vice President-Affirmative Action Cecil Canton.