State Budget Will Impact CSU's Ability to Serve Students
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state legislators last week reached a long-sought agreement on a state budget that contains a mix of tax increases and spending cuts aimed at closing the state's estimated $42 billion budget deficit. The budget is a 17-month plan that addresses the remaining months of the current 2008-09 fiscal year and the 2009-2010 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Here is what the budget means for the CSU:
Although the severity of the state's fiscal crisis required difficult decisions by the legislature, the budget will negatively impact CSU's ability to maintain quality and services for its 450,000 students. CSU is currently serving 10,000 students for whom the state provides no funding and has been forced to reduce enrollment levels by 10,000 this coming fall. CSU has also implemented several cost saving measures including freezing salaries for employees at the vice president level and above, restricting travel, deferring purchases, and holding vacant positions.
The CSU is exempt from the furlough orders now in effect for state agencies and is not planning furloughs at this time, but will continue to closely monitor its risk to further budget cuts as the details of the economic stimulus plan are analyzed.
Economic Stimulus Bill to Aid CSU
The federal government's recently signed $787 billion “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,” more commonly known as the economic stimulus bill, will significantly assist the CSU in several areas. Here is what's in store:
The bill also injects $16 billion nationwide into research through a number of federal agencies, such as the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. Of particular interest to the CSU is support for programs related to the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, such as Professional Science Master's programs. The legislation also includes a complex new $54 billion “State Fiscal Stabilization Fund,” a large portion of which is slated to go to governors to backfill state budget cuts to public education, from K-12 through college. For the CSU, this funding potentially could help offset $50 million in additional cuts for fiscal year 2009-10. While not mandatory, governors may also use some of these dollars to modernize, renovate, and repair public university infrastructure but no new construction is permitted with these funds. More informatio is available at http://blogs.calstate.edu/federalrelations/?p=63.