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CSU Faculty, Students to Rally for Higher Ed Funding at the Capitol
NEWS FROM THE CALIFORNIA FACULTY ASSOCIATION

On April 4, CSU Community to Call on the Governor and California Lawmakers to #FreeTheCSU and #FundTheDream

For Immediate Release: March 6, 2018

WHO: CSU students, faculty, and community allies will converge on the State Capitol in Sacramento to fight for increased state funding for the CSU.

WHEN: April 4, 2018, 10am-2pm

WHERE: State Capitol, North side (L & 11th streets)

WHAT: On April 4, the California Faculty Association (CFA) will host a rally in Sacramento urging Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers to provide additional CSU funding this fiscal year to ensure that qualified California students can get into the CSU, afford to stay, get the classes they need, and help to advance California’s society and economy.

The message to Sacramento will be loud and clear: #FreeTheCSU and #FundTheDream. The state needs to do better to fund the CSU — at least enough to avoid higher tuition and to admit more qualified students who were promised a seat in the university.

The CSU—which is known as the People’s University because it is a primary pathway to a bachelor’s degree for working people in California— is turning away tens of thousands of qualified students who were promised a seat in the university by California’s Master Plan for Higher Education. More than 31,400 eligible students were denied admission in 2016-17 and a similar number were turned away this academic year.

Without a dramatic change in funding policy, many more students are likely to be excluded in the future. Research shows that California’s economy will sufferif more Californians do not get college degrees.

The CSU budget debate began when the CSU’s Board of Trustees proposed an insufficient $263 million increase in funding at the November 2017 Board of Trustees meeting. CFA responded by calling for that increase to be $422.6 million, which amounts to less than 7% of the CSU’s total 2017-18 operating budget. The additional funds would increase access to the CSU for an additional 18,205 students.

In January, CFA and CSU advocates—including some CSU Trustees,—were extremely disappointed when the Governor announced his proposed budget of just $92.1 million in additional funding for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

On February 20, the legislature held its first budget hearing on public higher education funding. CFA leaders and CSU students testified on the need to increase funding so the CSU can improve enrollment growth and help stave off yet another tuition increase.

At the most recent CSU Board of Trustees meeting in late January 2018, the tuition hike was front and center and the policy was debated. A day before the meeting, Chancellor White postponed the Board’s vote to raise student tuition until at least May. The faculty is urging the Board to join its fight in Sacramento to convince the Governor and the legislature to increase funding for the CSU and to prevent a tuition hike

“It is getting harder for our students to get into the CSU and to be able to afford to stay,” said Jennifer Eagan, CFA President.

Eagan added, “This state has drifted too far away from the mission of public higher education—to provide access to affordable, high-quality education to all Californians. Right now, though the state economy needs more college graduates to prosper, we are increasingly shifting costs onto individual students. Our elected leaders have a duty to stop that trend.”

ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA FACULTY ASSOCIATION: CFA represents more than 28,000 tenure-line instructional faculty, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches on the 23 campuses of the California State University system, from Humboldt State in the north, to San Diego State in the south. Learn more about CFA at calfac.org and visit our facebook page.
 
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