Stimulus Funds for Education Will Provide Little Relief to CSU's Budget Deficit
Flanked by state and local education leaders, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced April 18 in Long Beach that California is the first state in the nation to receive federal stimulus money that will be passed on to school districts and the state's universities. Earlier in the month, Schwarzenegger had filed an application with the federal government to receive California's share of the Education Stabilization Fund that was created as part of the federal stimulus bill.
The governor's application calls for $268.5 million of one-time funds for the CSU. This amount includes $255 million that was already built into the CSU's budget that was passed by the legislature in February. Because the funds were part of the approved budget, they are not new and do not change the CSU's difficult budget situation.
The governor's application does include $13.5 million of federal funds, one-time money that will not continue into future budgets. The $13.5 million will slightly offset the $50 million reduction that had been planned for in the 2009-10 budget. The CSU's budget, however, remains underfunded almost $587 million due to budget cuts and mandatory new costs for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 fiscal years.
In other CSU news, some points of pride:
- California will face a serious shortfall in the number of college-educated workers it needs, and the CSU is taking decisive action to address the problem. A recent report by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), “Closing the Gap: Meeting California's Need for College Graduates,” cites the need to find ways to invest in higher education that feed workforce development. The CSU has taken affirmative steps to increase the number of students attending and graduating from college through several programs that aim to improve community college transfer readiness, baccalaureate degree completion and college going high-school rates. Many of these initiatives, such as the Early Assessment Program, the “How to Get to College” poster, and the Super Sunday outreach program have received state and national recognition and have been emulated by universities across the country. Read the PPIC report online at www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=835.
- CSU has 32 Fulbright scholars — more than one-third of California's share — for the 2008-09 academic year. California has 82 total scholars from all colleges and universities and the University of California system has 25. The Fulbright Program is an international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government that provides opportunities to study, teach, conduct research and exchange ideas around international concerns. More information is available at www.cies.org/.
- The CSU Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program received 96 applications this year, with 74 of those recommended for the program. Among the applicants, half are CSU lecturers, 77 were CSU alumni and the pool represented 17 different ethnic and racial backgrounds. Eleven of the recommended candidates hope to become nursing faculty. The program provides loans to promising graduate students in doctoral programs who are interested in teaching at the CSU. If hired as faculty, the CSU cancels portions of their loans during each year of qualifying service. More information is online at www.calstate.edu/HR/CDIP/.
- Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the heroic pilot who safely landed U.S. Airways flight 1549 in New York's Hudson River and saved the lives of the 150 passengers on board, has a tie to Fresno State. Sullenberger had checked out a book from the Fresno State library that was in the cargo hold of the airplane. Upon asking Fresno State if he could have an extension and waiver of the overdue book fees, Fresno State President John Welty went one step further — he waived all fees including a lost book fee and put a template in a replacement copy of the book dedicated to Sullenberger.