Great work CFA! Budget deal includes additional funding for CSU

Lawmakers have reached a budget deal that reinvests state funding in the California State University system, including funding that will expand student access to the CSU and fund additional tenure-line positions. 

The Legislature’s Conference Committee reached an agreement on the $213 billion budget Sunday afternoon. Now, the budget package heads to the Assembly and Senate, where a vote is required by June 15. Gov. Gavin Newsom has until June 30 to sign the budget.

The budget deal includes CFA’s proposal that $35 million be designated for new tenure track faculty hiring and will include language regarding best practices for hiring diverse faculty. These funds should allow CSU campuses to hire at least 280 additional new faculty next year, in addition to what already had been planned.

The budget plan, which includes a tuition freeze, also adds $85 million to increase access to the CSU. The funding will support at least 10,000 additional students gaining access to the CSU. Finally, the deal includes $3 million to support mental health services in the CSU next year, and $3.3 million for Project Rebound, a program that helps formerly incarcerated individuals seek degrees in the CSU.

Faculty and students have been working tirelessly to signal the need for additional state funding for the CSU in recent years. From our research paper “Equity, Interrupted”—which highlighted the fact that funding for the CSU decreased over 30 years as our student population grew more racially diverse—to our budget advocacy work at the Capitol this spring, faculty and students have been unwavering in our commitment to increase state funding for the People’s University. Our efforts have paid off with this year’s budget, said CFA President Charles Toombs.

“For years, we have been doing more with less while trying to help our lawmakers realize that investment in the CSU is a down payment in the future of California. This budget deal is testament that our efforts have succeeded and hopefully signals a trend that will continue,” Toombs said. “We are appreciative to Gov. Gavin Newsom and our legislative leaders for this budget, which includes significant resources that will increase the number of spots for qualified students in the CSU, and ensures that there are faculty and services in place to support them.”

Gov. Newsom told faculty and students at our CFA Lobby Day event in April that CFA’s engagement has, and continues to make, an impact on budget priorities.

“Over the last decade, we stopped investing in the system and as a consequence we have paid a big price. You brought that advocacy to the forefront, you’ve been there in every forum, at every critical occasion—I just want to congratulate you for that,” Newsom said.

In a recent editorial for The Sacramento Bee, CFA Political Action & Legislation Chair Jennifer Eagan explained why allocating budget dollars to hiring additional faculty has a direct impact on graduation rates and students’ experiences.

“As faculty in the classrooms, we know what it takes for students to be successful. Students succeed when they are able to enroll in the classes they need and when they have instructors available to mentor them throughout their time at the university,” Eagan wrote.

For more on the budget deal, click here.