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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Major Cuts to Higher Education Looming - Take Action Now

The Public Education System in California is facing drastic cuts which threaten the long term economy and well-being the State - Take Action before June 15th!

Dear CSU Supporter:

Governor Brown released his May Revision of the state budget which proposes an essentially flat budget for the CSU in 2012-13 provided voters approve the governor's tax measure in November. But the CSU faces a minimum $250 million "trigger" cut if voters reject the revenue measure, bringing state support for the CSU to its lowest level in 17 years, while the system serves 90,000 more students.

Two recent reports - the Campaign for College Opportunity (CCO) and the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) - cite the importance of the CSU to the state and its economy. The CCO reports that for every dollar the state invests in higher education, it returns $4.50 in increased revenues and decreased costs for social services. Yet despite this return, the latest PPIC study shows that over the last ten years, the state's higher education budget dropped 9% while the corrections budget grew by 26%! This shift in funding has occurred when the prison population has grown by only 1% while CSU and UC enrollment increased by 13%!Our economy cannot grow and create jobs unless we have an educated workforce. California relies on the 95,000 CSU graduates who join that workforce each year in industries key to the state's economic vitality. But all of this is at risk.What are the CSU's options?To address yet another budget cut, the CSU Board of Trustees is looking at all of the alternatives, many of which are unthinkable, and will have serious and long-lasting implications for all of us. Some of the options that have been discussed include:
  • Reducing student enrollment;
  • Denying new freshmen applicants and community college transfers;
  • Charging more for high-cost, high demand programs and courses;
  • Closing campuses and/or off-campus centers;
  • Increasing class sizes;
  • Eliminating programs and majors; and
  • Increasing student tuition fees.

The legislature has until June 15th to write a final budget. We are asking you to tell your local representatives to change direction for our future and stop cutting the CSU. Making your voice heard is critical for the state's decision makers to commit to improving higher education.

Click here for a full copy of the Board of Trustees options.

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