Friday, January 11, 2008

CFA Blasts Governor's Budget Proposal

The California Faculty Association (CFA), which represents CSU faculty, describes the governor's budget plan as "sleight of hand" in the latest CFA Headlines:

Gov. Schwarzenegger presented to the public his plan for the 2008/09 state budget today, and it includes a deep $312.9 million cut in the CSU.

The plan on paper is a sleight of hand, adding up the money promised in the funding Compact, assuming 8500 more full-time-equivalent students, subtracting 10% and layering on a steep student fee hike.

Bottom line, the only new money is from fee increases and student enrollment is supposed to increase. The CSU administration announced today the plan means turning away 10,000 eligible incoming students.
Expect a joint statement from CSUEU and other CSU groups:
At a CSU budget advisory meeting this morning prior to the governor’s announcement, many groups in the CSU community agreed to issue a joint statement on the budget cuts. The groups include CFA, the CSU administration, the California State Student Association, the CSU Employees Union, Academic Professional of California and others.
CFA says the cuts are short-sighted and only add to the still-unrepaired damage from earlier funding cuts:
Today the Governor cut a staggering $312.9 million from the California State University system. This latest blow to the CSU budget follows the half billion dollars in cuts that the system suffered just a few years ago. The university has never recovered from these earlier cuts.

If adopted, this budget will be a serious set back for the California State University. Budget cuts of this magnitude will harm our more than 400,000 students while at the same time eliminating access to the university by 10,000 new students, according to the CSU administration.

The Governor’s budget also assumes another 10% student fee increase—the 6th in the last seven years; and since the cuts will translate into course reductions, increased class sizes, and longer times to graduation, California’s students and their families will once again be paying more and getting even less.

The loss, in the end, would not only be dollars, but the loss of the hope and optimism about the future that is an intrinsic trait of a society committed to broad educational opportunity.
From the budget background section of the CFA document:
  • The California State University is already under-funded—the university system endured a disproportionate impact of the last fiscal crisis beginning in 2002. Over two years, $500 million were cut, leaving a deep funding hole that was never restored.
  • At that time, the CSU turned away eligible students, cut classes, and increased class size, all of which resulted in longer times to graduation. Most importantly, these cuts threatened the faculty’s ability to offer quality education.
  • In inflation-adjusted dollars, the CSU budget today remains below the 2002 level.
  • The “Compact” funding, adopted with a handshake between the CSU chancellor and governor in 2004, was promised to provide minimum funding the CSU needs to meet students’ needs.
CFA Headlines 10 January 2008 (California Faculty Association) [PDF]

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