“What if:” CSU’s plans to deal with cuts

By Eric Sanchez |Staff Writer|

CSU executives outlined a contingency plan to address a potential $1 billion cut of the CSU budget May 10.

The plan comes amid California’s budget crisis and threat of drastic funding cuts to all of the state’s higher education systems.

Governor Jerry Brown and the state Legislature have already approved a $500 million cut in CSU funding which will be addressed by a drop in admissions as well as a 10 percent tuition increase for the fall quarter, CSU officials said in a press release.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the state executives announced a $6.6 billion surge in the state funds fueled by higher wages throughout the state and an upturn in investment income of the rich.

This sudden hike in state funds may seem like a turn for the better to some; however, Brown sees the possibility of it thwarting his effort to set the state in the direction of a healthier financial future.
“California’s economy is growing, but we still face a $10 billion structural deficit and a wall of debt for years to come,” said Brown when he outlined his revised budget proposal earlier this month.

Brown warned the California legislature against simply making shifts in accounting and called for tax increases and budget cuts to get the state back on sound financial footing, the LA Times reported.

The proposal called for an additional $500 million loss of state funding for the CSU, if the tax extensions that Brown is advocating for are not submitted to election.

“That would be a scorched earth budget and would inflict lasting damages to the university,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed in a press release. “There will undoubtedly be severe and painful choices that we would have to make to address such a massive funding reduction,” he said.

The contingency plan of action would help prepare the system to deal with such an “all-cuts” budget.

According to the plan, the CSU would “wait list” incoming admission applicants for the winter and spring quarters and raise tuition as much as 32 percent, a CSU press release stated.

In a worst case scenario, an estimated 20,000 qualified applicants would be turned away in those two quarters alone.

If the additional funding for the CSU proposed by Brown is not part of the finalized budget, CSU executives will have to start considering implementation of the plan, Reed said.

Though the situation is at a critical decision point, some students were not aware of how much of an increase in tuition is potentially possible.

When informed they found it difficult to even begin to think about how they would cope with as much as $6,450 in tuition to be paid annually.

“I would probably have to move back home,” said CSUSB student Tiffany Aguilera.

Along with Gov. Brown’s tax extensions there are other attempts to preserve some type of funding for California higher education.

A bill proposed in the state assembly aims to tax California oil extraction to fund statewide higher education.

President Obama called for an increase in U.S domestic production earlier this month, as reported in The Huffington Post. This in conjunction with the bill that could significantly increase state support for the CSU.



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