By Daniela Rueda |Staff Writer|
The California State University system hopes to get $59 million more in state funding to expand enrollment in the next academic year by 10,000 students.
Gov. Jerry Brown announced that he has included an additional $157 million for CSUs in the latest version of his budget plan, according to an article on KPCC.
Brown’s updated budget suggests his January plan will increase the universities’ $3-billion base budget by $120 million, or four percent, and does not include any new money to expand in-state enrollment, according to KPCC.
CSU Chancellor Tim White stated that to get the funding necessary, Cal State plans to call on students, labor leaders, and lawmakers to help push for the extra dollars to meet enrollment needs, according to KPCC.
“Our job’s not yet done,” stated White.
Cal State says it needs to open up the additional seats next year to meet a long-term state goal for college-educated workers.
Laurie Weidner, a Cal State spokeswoman, stated, “The state needs at least one million more college graduates by 2025. So as the largest producer of bachelor’s degrees in the state, the CSU takes that challenge and responsibility very seriously.”
The university hopes to spend the extra funds in the governor’s latest budget plan, including $38 million for programs that help students earn their degrees faster, according to KPCC.
Moving students to graduation is a key initiative. Administrators said that the number of Cal State students transferring from community colleges has been going up, making it even more important for current students to graduate and open up seats, the article stated.
Student, Sarah Gonzales, believes that Cal States could use more funding for student benefits.
“I think the school would benefit from more money because we need access to more classes and programs to help us graduate faster and I feel we are limited because of funding,” said Gonzales.
Brown also reached an agreement with University of California President Janet Napolitano, on an in-state undergraduate tuition freeze for at least two years in exchange for an extra $436 million in state funding for the university system to offset pension costs, according to KPCC.
Community colleges, primary and secondary schools are major winners in the revised proposal.
The University of California and CSU also benefited from larger allocations in the wake of the state’s improved economy and brighter revenue picture, according KPCC.
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines expressed gratitude for Brown’s budget proposal revealed Thursday, which will provide more money into public education in California, the article stated.
“We are grateful to Gov. Jerry Brown for his continued support for California public education,” stated Cortines.
The state legislature is responsible for the governor’s proposal. Weidner stated that Cal State hopes to secure the extra funds before a June 15 deadline, when lawmakers need to approve a budget and send it on to the governor, according to the article.