June 24, 2017

Letter to the editor: CSU needs $325 million more

To the Editor:

California’s governor and state legislators are making decisions right now that will have a direct impact on what it will cost you to get a college degree.

Students can have a say in these decisions — but you need to take action right now.

Gov. Jerry Brown is putting the finishing touches on the spending plan for California’s 2017-18 budget year. Among those decisions will be how much money he allocates to the California State University.

The CSU Trustees asked the governor to add $325 million more to the university system’s budget. Back in January, Governor Brown proposed an increase of $157.2 million. That’s just not enough. After years of disinvestment by the state, the CSU needs and deserves more funding.

The stakes are even higher this year. The CSU Trustees decided to increase tuition by 5 percent — that translates to $270 more per student each year — unless the 2017-18 state budget includes the full $325 million increase.

Essentially, CSU Trustees have passed the buck to Governor Brown and our legislators. The decision on how much money the CSU gets in the 2017-18 state budget also impacts whether students will be stuck with a tuition increase.

The bottom line is simple: the CSU needs that additional funding to give the best possible education to the hundreds of thousands of CSU students at our 23 campuses. No one knows how true that is more than we do — CSU faculty and students.

All of this is why my union, the California Faculty Association, along with Students for Quality Education (SQE), is advocating for increased state funding for the CSU.

But we need you to speak out too.

Take a minute and write to Gov. Brown. Tell him what you already know — the California State University system needs the full $325 million.

And this may not be the end of the fight.

Our state legislators will debate the Governor’s May Revise to the budget, and vote on it. If the governor doesn’t come through with that additional $325 million, lawmakers could add it into the spending plan. Soon, we may need to shift focus to state legislators and encourage them to boost the CSU’s funding increase if the governor fails to do so in his May Revise.

CFA also is working to protect you, our students, through legislation like AB 393, which would freeze CSU tuition through June 2020. There’s an online tool you can use to write legislators expressing your support.

We know everyone is in crunch mode with finals and graduation upon us, but please take a minute to write Gov. Brown and tell him to increase the CSU’s funding by $325 million for 2017-18. Find info to write Gov. Brown here: calfac.org/write-the-governor

Your voice is valuable, and it needs to be heard.

Jennifer Eagan,

President of the California Faculty Association

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