Gov. Brown's 2013-14 proposed budget released this week seeks $125.1 million in new state funding for the CSU, and also reinstates the $125 million that was cut from last year's budget and was due to be reimbursed with voters' approval of Proposition 30.
The spending plan signals the governor's reinvestment in public higher education and reverses a trend of decreased state support the past several years that resulted in the CSU losing more than 30 percent of its budget.
"We appreciate the governor's recognition that California will benefit from the investment of state funds into higher education," said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. "The proposed budget heads us in the right direction and will allow the CSU to address the unprecedented demand for high quality education at our institutions, as well as areas of critical need. We still face many fiscal challenges and will continue efforts to operate efficiently and effectively, and seek out additional innovative ways to control costs."
As part of the additional proposed $125.1 million, $10 million has been directed for online strategies to enable more students to complete "bottleneck" courses which slow their degree progress because they can't find a "seat" in a required course. The courses are either lower-division general education requirements, pre-requisites for majors or high demand classes. The directed funds would be used for technology-enhanced learning, student advising and course redesign to improve access to classes and students' progress to their degree.
The loss of state support the past several years forced the CSU Board of Trustees to approve sizable tuition fee increases. However, increases in available revenue from the tuition did not keep pace with state funding cuts. Consequently, the CSU instituted a number of cost-savings measures including decreased enrollment, employee layoffs and furloughs, deferred maintenance, travel restrictions, improvements in information technology, and other efficiency measures.
"The CSU has certainly been challenged over the past several years with the drop in state support due to the state's lingering recession," said White. "However, with finances more stable in the near term now that Proposition 30 has passed, we are cautiously optimistic that the CSU's budget will begin to turn around. We look forward to working with the governor and legislature during the upcoming budget hearings." Read the governor's budget proposal.