SACRAMENTO, CA – This week, the legislature voted on the final 2017-18 state budget, which is now on Governor Brown’s desk for signature. This budget includes an increase to the California State University (CSU) system budget of $177.2 million in ongoing funding–$24 million more than the Governor’s May Revise budget proposal. In addition, this budget includes $12.5 million in one-time funds for the Graduation Initiative 2025, $2.5 million to address student hunger, and the preservation of the Scholarship.
Although this does not fulfill our full budget request, given the realities of a state budget in which other vital services did not receive increases, this is a victory. We must acknowledge that even small victories cannot be won alone. The Cal State Student Association (CSSA) thanks the countless students and alumni who participated in our advocacy efforts, as well as the CSU system leadership, campus administrators, faculty members, campus staff, Assembly leadership, and all those who had a hand in bringing more funding to the CSU and to students.
With the modest accomplishment of this budget cycle now passed, and in the spirit of moving forward to next year, CSSA would like to make the case for the future. California grew to prominence by constantly looking to the future. Whether it was diverting the Colorado River to bring water to the southern part of the state or by fostering a vibrant hub of innovation in Silicon Valley, California has always led by embracing the possibilities of the future. None of this would have been possible without massive investments in public higher education, which has enabled the state to hire the educated and highly-skilled workforce necessary to invest in the future.
While students acknowledge that many issues face our state today, we challenge our state leaders to continue to look to the future. Students know firsthand how hard it can be to look to tomorrow while today continues to present challenges. Students see today’s challenges through managing the current costs of rent, transportation, books, and food while trying to pursue their education– which is their own personal investment in their futures. However, we cannot maintain the indelible greatness of California without committing to tomorrow. We look forward to working with our state leaders to lead our great state into tomorrow.
About CSSA CSSA serves California State University students, advocates for student interests, and engages students in public higher education policy making.