SACRAMENTO, CA – The Cal State Student Association (CSSA) appreciates Governor Brown’s ongoing commitment to modestly invest in the California State University (CSU); however, funding at this level does not meet even the most basic core costs to the system. This budget proposal invests $92.1 more in general fund base funding in the CSU, which is more than $10 million less than what was expected. Furthermore, this funding is recommended to be used for the CSU’s Graduation Initiative. Therefore, the potential tuition increase proposed by the CSU Chancellor’s Office will inevitably be needed to directly pay for mandatory costs including; employee raises and employee pension and healthcare obligations.
“It is categorically unfair that students, many of whom cannot afford even basic needs like food and housing, are being required to fill a budget gap the Governor is unwilling to fill,” said Maggie White, CSSA President and student at Stanislaus State University. “We are getting closer and closer to a point of no return in higher education in California, where hard choices will need to be made to preserve the core tenants of the CSU; affordability, quality, and access.”
This ongoing investment in higher education continues to be outpaced by growing costs, which cannot be ignored. The state’s lack of investment in higher education last year caused a tuition increase for our students. A failure to address these growing costs will inevitably necessitate tuition increases this year, and for the foreseeable future.
Prior to last year, CSU students enjoyed no tuition increases for six years. This enabled prospective students to anticipate what some of their college costs would be, as well as preserve the promise of an affordable education at our world-class university system. However, that freeze in tuition was not met with the necessary investments from the state to ensure that future students would not have to bear the inevitable, and mounting costs. Without adequate investment in the CSU, any freeze in tuition is merely an illusion, paid for by students eventually.
Over the course of the last eight years, our state leaders have led with courage, and have ushered in a prosperous time for our state. We urge these same leaders to address this critical issue with the same bold and forward-thinking leadership. Addressing this challenging financial reality of our higher education system in an equitable manner is crucial for ensuring a better tomorrow and a stronger California.
About CSSA CSSA serves California State University students, advocates for student interests, and engages students in public higher education policy making.