News Release

Governor’s 2018-19 State Budget Plan too little to admit the qualified students California needs to get college degrees
NEWS FROM THE CALIFORNIA FACULTY ASSOCIATION

CFA Slams Underfunding California State University Students

CFA Pop-Up Art following Governor Brown’s budget news conference symbolized the tens of thousands of students turned away yearly
from our state public university

Sacramento, CA – The 2018-19 State Budget plan released today by Governor Jerry Brown once again fails to honor the promise of access to public higher education for all qualified California students.

“If the governor wants to head off future financial crises, increasing enrollment in the California State University is essential,” said Jennifer Eagan, President of the California Faculty Association and a professor at CSU East Bay. “Yet, the governor’s plan would mean the California State University will continue to turn away tens of thousands of qualified students every year.”

To remain competitive in the global economy, California must overcome a severe shortage of people with college degrees.

Eagan said, “Our state’s students need college degrees. And if their own futures were not enough reason, let’s remember the State of California needs this investment in every student qualified to get into college and get a degree. Our economy and society need it. We all know it. It’s foolish to turn away all these students knocking on our campus doors.”

The governor’s plan to provide $92 million more in 2018-19 is much less than half of the $263 million the CSU Chancellor and Trustees requested of him. CFA finds both numbers are inadequate to serve California’s students.

“The governor’s low-ball number punishes students by shutting out tens of thousands each year from the CSU. This just continues what research shows, that the funding for each student today, when adjusted for inflation, is less than 30 years ago when most CSU students were white,” said Lillian Taiz, CFA Political Action and Legislation Chair, and a professor emerita at Cal State Los Angeles.

“It is time for a turnaround in investment in our students and state,” said Taiz. “We recommend a 5% increase in student enrollment this year, allowing the CSU to increase admissions  by more than 18,000 FTE students.”

Taiz added, “Even that is not enough as thousands of students still will be turned away. But, we must keep investing until every qualified student who is qualified and seeks a seat can get one. Our state cannot afford to drop the ball lest we accelerate a downturn. We must fund the CSU.”

See Governor Brown’s budget plan for the CSU on page 50 of his Budget Summary at www.ebudget.ca.gov/FullBudgetSummary.pdf

BACKGROUND

In an open letter to the leaders of the CSU system last week, the California Faculty Association blasted both the inadequate funding proposal that the CSU Chancellor and Board of Trustees sent to the governor and legislators, as well as the long-term, systemic underfunding of the CSU by state decision-makers.

The CSU is turning away qualified students who were promised a place in our state university system in California’s Master Plan for Higher Education. More than 31,400 students were denied admission in 2016-17, more were turned away in the current year. Without a conscious change in funding policy, more students are likely to be excluded in the future. Under CFA’s proposed funding for enrollment growth, an additional 18,205 full-time students would be admitted.

CFA supports an increase in funding of $422.6 million for the CSU that would accommodate a 5 percent growth in student enrollment in the 2018-19 academic year.

CFA’s open letter states: “CFA is painfully aware that a 5 percent increase in enrollment does not reach every eligible student. Thousands would still be turned away, but we have to start somewhere. California must continue to re-invest in the future until the promise is fully realized.”  See

In early 2017, CFA highlighted a point made by CFA leader Cecil Canton, a Sacramento State faculty member, who testified to a state legislative hearing that as the CSU student population “got darker, the funding got lighter.” (Canton was among the faculty docents giving interviews at the Pop-Up on January 10). The changing demographics of the CSU student body and the decrease in per student funding is documented in the CFA report “Equity Interrupted: How California is Cheating Its Future” (calfac.org/equity-interrupted).

The open letter reiterates: “Today’s high school and community college students are the most racially and ethnically diverse in the state’s history. Over the years in which this demographic shift occurred, we see a simultaneous, systematic, and chronic reduction in state funding for the CSU.”

POP-UP ON THE CAPITOL NORTH LAWN SENT A MESSAGE AT THE CAPITOL

The faculty made the case during and immediately following the Governor’s budget announcement at the Capitol on Wednesday, January 10.

Faculty from CSU campuses talked about this disinvestment in our students in front of the back-drop of a Pop-Up Art Installation of 1,570 seats, each of which represented 20 students denied access to the CSU.. CFA leaders acting as docents, gave interviews and explained facts behind the art installation for legislators and staffers, interested parties, and the news media. Learn more and see a Photo Gallery at www.calfac.org/students-deserve-seat

CFA President Jennifer Eagan says:

“The time has come for the state of California to end the long, slow process of dismantling public higher education. For decades, state disinvestment from the California State University has harmed students and it has harmed our state.

“We are taking this action to demonstrate just how many students are being left behind and to call on all advocates for public higher education and our state to stand up for the CSU—for our students, for our university, and for the future of California.”

ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA FACULTY ASSOCIATION: CFA represents more than 28,000 tenured and tenure-track 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             ###

 

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