SACRAMENTO, CA – While the California State Student Association (CSSA) appreciates Governor Brown’s increase in the California State University (CSU) base budget allocation for the 2017-18 fiscal year, the May Revise moves in the wrong direction. The CSU is now slated to receive $4 million less than what was proposed in the initial budget proposal in January.
CSU students face the first tuition increase in six years. CSSA has been committed to opposing a tuition increase because we know firsthand the affordability challenges our students face today. We have urged for increased investment by the state that would eliminate a tuition increase, fund student success programs, and pay for obligated costs including a faculty pay increase.
Based on the Governor’s budget, the CSU budget allocation has been reduced to fund Cal Grants for students at private institutions. CSSA understands that private institutions help meet the current demand for higher education that our public institutions alone cannot meet. However, this budget proposal takes a step towards exacerbating this problem rather than solving it. This budget not only does not fulfill the CSU’s full budget request, but it reduces the January budget proposal by $4 million. Last year the CSU turned away 30,000 qualified applicants. If the state chose to invest in public higher education the way it did 50 years ago, California’s public institutions would be able to meet the demand they cannot currently.
The CSU is fundamentally tied to the many priorities of our state. The state prioritizes a strong safety net for our citizens. The state also prioritizes an innovative, lucrative, and diverse field of private industries. These priorities are maintained by the high-quality graduates the CSU creates. Yet, the state budget ignores this vital connection. We hope that our state leaders’ budget priorities begin to match their rhetorical ones. We look forward to working with our state leaders to achieve all of our common goals.
About CSSA CSSA serves California State University students, advocates for student interests, and engages students in public higher education policy making.