Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's May Revision of the state budget reduced the $386 million gap in state funding initially anticipated for the 2008-09 CSU budget by $97.6 million.
Even under the improved proposal, the CSU still faces $288 million in reduced funding and serious fiscal challenges, including $114 million in mandatory cost increases for which no general fund resources exist. These are additional expenditures that the CSU must make in 2008-09 to meet various obligations including escalating energy costs and employees health insurance premiums.
There is still time to advocate a change in next year's budget. The May Revision will be forwarded to the State Legislature, which will make additional budget recommendations before the budget is approved by the two houses and governor. The Alliance for the CSU — a team of CSU students, employees and friends — will continue to educate the State Legislature of the CSU's major impact on the state's economy.
The CSU is the Solution to many of California's economic issues. Cal Poly Pomona and the CSU prepare the future workforce in key areas such as science, technology, education, healthcare, agriculture and more. Earlier research has found that the CSU returns $4.41 to the California economy for every $1 invested.
“Today we are in a better position than yesterday,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “The restoration of funds in the May Revise, in spite of a worsened fiscal condition in the state, reflects the Governor's strong commitment to education. He has demonstrated that preserving quality in student academic programs is a high priority for California. We sincerely thank the Governor for his support.
“Also, I am particularly pleased with the tremendous collaboration of students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni who under the Alliance for the CSU, have advocated for full funding for the university system. Their demonstrations at each of our 23 campuses and at the state capitol have highlighted the value of higher education for the economy of our state.
“Still much can happen between now and the day when the legislature and the Governor adopt the final budget. So, we must continue our advocacy in this unprecedented collaborative way for the sake of higher education and Californias future.”
To maintain high academic quality while absorbing state budget cuts, the Board of Trustees today voted to increase the annual student fees as follows: $276 for undergraduate students, $324 for teacher credential students and $342 for graduate students. The 10 percent increase will generate approximately $73 million, after providing for additional financial aid to eliminate the fee increase for the neediest students. Approximately 143,475 students will receive financial aid to offset the fee increase. This represents approximately 75 percent of all financially needy students.
Revenue from the fee increase will be used to manage class sizes and maintain cutting edge course offerings, knowledgeable instructors, and continued improvement of library collections and services.
Even with the increase, CSU fees will continue to be among the lowest in the country. The undergraduate State University Fee will go up from the current $2,772 to $3,048 per year. Including the current average campus fee of $749, CSU undergraduate students will pay approximately $3,797 for one academic year, which is less than the lowest fee of public institutions used to benchmark the CSU.