State Senate completes first hearing in long process to CSU budget

Last week, the Senate Budget Subcommittee held its first hearing on how much 2015/16 state funding to provide to public higher education in California.

Kevin Wehr, CFA Political Action & Legislation Committee Chair, and Paula Durette, a CFA member from CSU Fresno, testified for CFA.

Wehr called on the subcommittee to support CSU funding that is about $100 million more than what is in the governor’s higher ed funding plan. The CSU administration continues to ask for more, as well.

During the hearing, Budget Subcommittee Chair Marty Block (D-San Diego) noted the CSU system projects it could get on track to 100,000 more graduates with the extra funding.

He asked the Legislative Analyst’s Office how that number reconciles with the Public Policy Institute of California study that estimates a need for 1 million new Californians with bachelor’s degrees by 2025.

State Sen. Ben Allen (D-Redondo Beach) reiterated the question and posed it in terms of faculty. CFA’s Wehr informed the senators that increasing the graduation rate would in fact require increased resources, and that these resources would have to be devoted in large part to faculty hiring and to converting Lecturers to tenure-line positions.

Wehr noted that the reported 700 new CSU faculty hires this year is offset by 500 retirements, netting only 200 new tenure-line faculty throughout the entire CSU system.

UP NEXT: CFA Lobby Day, April 7, when faculty members from all over California converge on the State Capitol to meet with legislators about the funding and legislative action the CSU needs. Contact your CFA campus chapter about participating.