23 Reasons to Come to Sacramento
Take Action: April 4, 2018

Tell Gov. Brown: $92 Million is Not Enough!

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  1. The Governor’s budget proposal of just $92 million more for the CSU next year does not even keep up with inflation. This means it is a budget cut and would cause more tuition increases, course cuts, and delay students’ graduations. [1]
  2.  Gov. Brown says the students and the CSU should  “live within their means” – showing how out of touch he is with today’s college students. A recent study found 10.9% of CSU students experienced homelessness and 41.6% reported food insecurity. [2]
  3.  California has money! According to the Governor’s own Department of Finance and the Legislative Analyst Office, the California’s fiscal outlook for 2018 and 2019 is positive. [3,4 ]
  4. The LAO predicts a discretionary surplus of $7.5 billion by the end of 2018-19 but Gov. Brown would rather stash it away into a Rainy Day Fund – billions more than required by law! [4]
  5. But, as CSU Trustee John Nilon said at a recent Board of Trustees meeting, “The governor chooses to put those funds in a rainy day fund, thereby creating the rainy day for CSU.” [5]
  6. As a result, the CSU Trustees are considering another tuition increase of 4% for next year, on top of a 5% increase this year. [1]
  7. Gov. Brown’s  budget has NO FUNDING for enrollment growth. Chronic underfunding of the CSU means the university is turning away tens of thousands of qualified, eligible students. This year, more than 30,000 students were denied a spot in the CSU and this has been going on for years.[6]
  8. Meanwhile, the CSU is serving 70,000 more students today than during the Great Recession in 2010. [7]
  9. California spends 41% less on each CSU student today than 30 years ago, when the student body was predominantly white. Today, 72% of CSU students identify as students of color and tens of thousands are first-generation college students; they too deserve a fully-funded university. [8,13] 
  10. By continuing to underfund the CSU, even after the state has recovered from the Great Recession, Gov. Brown’s budget offers today’s diverse students an education on the cheap.
  11. Supporting the CSU is a good financial investment. CSU-related spending has an economic impact of more than $17 billion and supports 150,000 jobs in the state. [9]
  12.  For every $1 invested by the state, the CSU generates $5.43 for California’s economy. [9] 
  13. State funding has not kept pace with growth in student enrollment. Though the CSU student body has grown by 67% since 1985, the CSU budget has actually decreased by about 3%, when adjusted for inflation. [10] 
  14. CSU Chancellor White is threatening to cut at least 2,380 courses if Gov. Brown does not increase the CSU budget. [1] 
  15. If CSU had resources (state funding plus tuition) it did in 1985, there would be $773 million more dollars in the CSU operating budget to serve today’s students. [10] 
  16. California has more billionaires than any other state in the nation and more than all but two countries in the world. California can afford to invest in public higher education. [11]
  17. There are 158,000 more students in the CSU today than there were in 1985, but the same number of full-time, permanent faculty positions. This means fewer faculty to mentor, teach, supervise projects, and develop academic programs. [7,12]  
  18. Today, a majority of the faculty (60% by headcount) are hired on temporary, part-time teaching contracts. Our faculty deserve better jobs and our students deserve teachers who will be around to see them earn their degrees. [12] 
  19. If the state of California supported today’s students at the level of 1985, state funding for CSU in 2015 would have been almost $2 billion higher. [13] 
  20. In just 12 years from now, the demand for college educated workers in California is expected to exceed the supply of workers with Bachelor’s degrees by 1.1 million.  To avoid this gap, the state needs to act today and increase funding for the public universities. [14]
  21. More than 2/3  of Californians think the current level of state funding for public colleges and universities is inadequate. And 70%, across all parties, say they do not support increasing tuition to fund higher education. [14]
  22. The cost to attend a CSU has skyrocketed. In 1985, students paid $666 per year in tuition and fees. This year, they are paying 933% more. If tuition had kept pace with inflation, students would be paying $1,519 instead of $6,881 this year. [13] 
  23. A college education is a critical step in achieving upward, inter-generational economic mobility for working class and lower income families.  A recent national study found many of the CSU campuses are ranked among the best universities in the whole country in terms of upward mobility and offering a pathway to better economic security for low-income families. [15]


[1] CSU Board of Trustees, Finance Committee, Jan. 2018.

[2] Crutchfield and Maguire, “Study of Student Basic Needs,” CSU Chancellor’s Office, Jan. 2018.

[3] CA Dept. of Finance, Governor’s Budget, Jan. 2018.

[4] LAO, The 2018-19 Budget: California’s Fiscal Outlook, Nov. 2017.

[5] EdSource, “Pushing for more state funds, Cal State threatens tuition hike but delays vote,”Jan. 30, 2018.

[6] EdSource, “To help those who need to stay close to home, state tells CSU to favor local students in admission,” Oct. 17, 2017.

[7] CSU Analytic Studies, Enrollment Summary.

[8] CSU Analytic Studies, Enrollment by Ethnic Group;

[9] CSU Chancellor’s Office, Impact of the California State University.

[10] CFA, “Equity Interrupted: Key Findings” Jan. 2017.

[11] “California Leads All States (and All but 2 Countries) with 111 Billionaires,” Forbes, Mar. 7, 2014.

[12] CSU PIMS database.

[13] CFA, “Equity Interrupted,” Jan. 2017.

[14] Public Policy Institute of California, Higher Education Center.

[15] Equality of Opportunity Project; D. Leonhardt, “America’s Great Working-Class Colleges,” New York Times, Jan.18, 2017.