State legislators stand for CSU after Governor’s May Revise

At the State Capitol this morning, CFA leaders joined Assembly Higher Education Committee Chair Jose Medina, CSU and UC students, and state Assemblymembers and Senators at a news conference to sound a defiant challenge to Governor Brown’s minimal funding plan for public higher education.

Medina, who organized the news conference, said, ““The [governor’s] revised proposal falls drastically short of the funding needed to sustain our renowned universities.”

He added, “Failure to fully invest in our institutions of higher education hurts current students and also forces universities to turn away thousands of students who are qualified for admission. At a time when California’s prosperity is the envy of the world, we must ensure that higher education—the engine that drives our economy—receives the full investment it so desperately needs.”

Medina praised students who have traveled to the Capitol for many months to testify at hearings and participate in public events calling for reinvestment in the CSU.

“We know that as the number of students of color has increased, public funding for the CSU has decreased,” CFA President Jennifer Eagan told the crowded room of higher education supporters. “The economic future of our state depends on the CSU. We applaud Assemblymember Medina and his colleagues for fighting for additional funding and student enrollment in the People’s University.”

The news conference was another indication of growing enthusiasm in the State Legislature to inject the needed state funds into the CSU’s budget for the 2018/19 fiscal and academic year.

Just after the governor released his May Revise state budget plan on Friday, State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon issued a statement (share it on Facebook) saying:

“The budget also must address the needs of CSU and UC students, faculty, and staff. They have made the case for funding to stabilize tuition rates, address rising costs, and enroll more California students. We have heard them. #CABudget

Legislators at the news conference included Assemblymembers Wendy Carillo, Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Susan Baker, Monique Limón, Evan Low, and Eloise Reyes; and Senators Ben Allen, and Steven Glazer.

CFA members on the podium included CFA President Jennifer Eagan, CFA Associate VP Cecil Canton, CFA Associate VP Rafael Gómez, CFA Secretary Kevin Wehr, CFA Treasurer Susan Green, Sacramento State CFA President Margarita Berta-Ávila, San Francisco State CFA President James Martel, Sacramento State CFA E-Board member Nicki Mehta, and Monterey Bay CFA E-Board member Meghan O’Donnell.

Others who filled the Capitol’s news conference room to support public higher education came from The New Poor People’s Campaign, Teamsters Union Local 2010 (CSU), the California State Student Association, and UC-American Federation of Teachers.