Legislature proposes $12.5 million in additional funding for CSU

Legislative leaders have recommended adding $12.5 million in additional ongoing state funding to the CSU’s budget, along with one-time funding this fiscal year, but the move falls short of what is needed to fulfill the system’s core mission.

The Assembly Budget Subcommittee had originally recommended $101 million in additional funding — which CFA and CSU administration has advocated for— but the Conference Committee decided late last week to suggest just $12.5 million more per year for the CSU. The committee also is recommending $25-$50 million in one-time funding, with requirements that the system improve graduation rates by system and campus and set improvement targets for underrepresented and first-generation students.

“While the additional $12.5 million will allow 5,194 more students to enroll, that really amounts to only about 200 more students per campus—falling far short of meeting the state’s 21st century needs for a million more college graduates,” said CFA President Jennifer Eagan in a written statement. “Moreover, the budget’s reliance on one-time funding— between $25 and $50 million — ignores the reality that students are not a one-time investment but rather each year’s cohort of students must be supported through to graduation.

“Unless we invest in hiring more faculty and staff to provide students with the courses they need to graduate and support our students so that they do not have to work more than 10 hours a week, we will not see the improvements in four-year graduation rates that we all (including our students) seek. Using one-time money to ‘study’ or ‘initiate’ four-year graduation ‘programs’ is a colossal waste of resources. The factors delaying graduation are well known—a shortage of classes, lack of hiring and support for the faculty and advisors who mentor students, and students having to work too many hours; eliminating or ameliorating these issues requires ongoing investment in providing greater opportunities for students to take classes and spend fewer hours working to support themselves and their families.”

Click here to read Dr. Eagan’s statement in its entirety.  

The Legislature is scheduled to vote on the budget today, June 15. It will then go on to Gov. Jerry Brown.