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Cross section of CSU leaders praise Gov. Newsom’s budget proposal to add to university system’s budget

Leaders in the California State University system lauded Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2019-20 budget proposal to allocate an ongoing $300 million in additional funding to the system that oversees 23 campuses.

Newsom announced his “California For All” budget proposal of allocating $13.6 billion toward child care, education and more, Thursday morning, Jan. 10. The proposal offers a $1.4 billion increase in higher education for the state’s three systems – University of California, CSU and Community Colleges – to increase enrollment, improve time to obtain a degree and a tuition freeze.

The CSU, whose board of trustees requested $554 million in additional funds in November, garnered the proposal of a $300 million ongoing general fund increase. The CSU would also gain $247 million in one-time general funds to expand on-campus child care facilities, in addition to a $15 million in one-time general funds for student hunger and housing initiatives.

“In his first budget proposal, Governor Newsom reflects his commitment to reinvesting in higher education and the California State University,” CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White said in a statement. “This marks the single largest proposed investment by any governor in the history of the university, and we are extremely appreciative of Governor Newsom’s bold investment in us.”

Newsom’s budget proposal is the first step toward negotiations, between the governor’s office and the state legislature, which finalize mid-June. With a Democratic majority in the state legislature, the proposals aren’t expected to see a lot of resistance.

The CSU’s total operating budget plan for 2018-19 was $6.8 billion, with $3.7 billion coming from the state general fund and $3.1 billion from tuition and fees. The CSU gained $282.9 million in new resources for 2018-19.

Cal State Long Beach President Jane Close Conoley said Newsom’s budget proposal is a “step in the right direction.”

“The governor’s proposed investment in public higher education would transform the lives of our students, who in turn make our communities a better place for all,” she said in a statement.

Conoley said that Cal State Long Beach received about 102,000 undergraduate applications for fall 2018, but was able to enroll 9,250 of those students.

“Fully funding the CSU would allow the campus to welcome more than 11,000 deserving students in fall 2019,” Conoley continued, “provide additional support services and hire more faculty – all of which increase graduation rates.”

Douglas Domingo-Forasté, president of Cal State Long Beach’s chapter of the California Faculty Association, urged Newsom to fund the CSU’s request for the upcoming academic year for improving student education and support services.

“That means supporting increased tenure-line faculty, mental health professionals, and other direct student services while monitoring carefully the amount of money spent on administration,” he said in a statement.

At Cal Poly Pomona, President Soraya Coley said she thinks the governor’s budget proposal is great news.

“Our state’s colleges and universities are essential to California’s success,” she said. “The governor’s proposal acknowledges the progress being made towards improving student success across the CSU and affirms that continued reinvestment in higher education is critical to making a college degree affordable and attainable.”

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Source: Orange County Register

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