California Gov. Gavin Newsom presented his first budget proposal, allocating up to $562 million in permanent and one-time funds for the California State University system.
Newsom’s budget proposal consists of a $300 million ongoing general fund for operational costs, increased enrollment and for progress toward the Graduation Initiative 2025. The budget also includes $247 million in one-time general funds for the expansion of on-campus child care facilities serving students and deferred maintenance and $15 million in one-time general funds for student hunger and housing initiatives.
In comparison, Gov. Brown allocated $92 million for education last year.
Newsom prioritized the state’s community colleges and two university systems, while maintaining a stipulation that tuition levels will stay frozen. The governor also emphasized expanding mental health services for students finishing their degrees.
Newsom’s budget reflected his ambitions as governor to support increased enrollment, and an expedited degree process.
“In his first budget proposal, Gov. Newsom reflects his commitment to reinvesting in higher education and the California State University,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White 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 Gov. Newsom’s bold investment in us.”
The CSU proposed an operating budget of $7.32 billion for the 2019-20 academic year, with $3.12 billion coming from tuition and fees, $3.65 billion from the general fund and $554 million from an operating budget request.
President Jane Close Conoley said the demand to receive an education at LBSU is at a record high.
“We received about 102,000 undergraduate applications for fall 2018, yet were only able to enroll 9,250 students,” Conoley said in a statement. “Fully funding the CSU would allow the campus to welcome more than 11,000 deserving students in fall 2019, provide additional support services and hire more faculty, all of which increase graduation rates.”
The 2019-20 CSU operational budget proposal stated that a continued investment of the Graduation Initiative 2025 would increase graduation rates by being able to hire and fully pay for faculty and in turn, having the necessary classes available for students.
Ted Kadowaki, Associate Vice President of budget and university services, said that Gov. Newsom has fulfilled his promises to education from his time as Lt. Governor.
“[Newsom] regularly attended CSU Board of Trustee meetings and he was always very supportive of the CSU,” Kadowaki said. “[Newsom] always said, ‘Don’t put it on the backs of students, and let the governor and legislature off the hook.’”
LBSU student body President Genesis Jara stated she was proud of the commitment shown by Newsom for the education of CSU students.
“I believe an affordable pathway to public higher education is essential to build stronger, more dynamic communities in California,” Jara said. “I have gained a lot from my education, and it is essential that the state fully fund the California State University system to give all students opportunities like the ones I have had.”
Newsom’s budget will undergo further revision in May, where changes will be made based on the latest economic forecasts. This summer, the budget that is passed by the California Legislature and signed by the governor will be enacted.