New op-ed: Close The Higher Education Funding Gap

On June 6, 2018, Fox & Hounds published an op-ed from Dick Ackerman and Mel Levine, co-chairs of the California Coalition for Public Higher Education, titled, “Close The Higher Education Funding Gap.” Here’s an excerpt:

During the past quarter century, enrollment at the University of California and California State University has increased dramatically, while State funding for the campuses has declined precipitously.  That is a formula for disaster—not only for our higher education system and for thousands of aspiring young Californians, but also for the economic health of our state.

A new publication by the California Budget and Policy Center illustrates the problem.  Since 1981-82, UC enrollment at increased by 113%, while State funding per student has declined by 51%.  During the same time period, CSU enrollment grew by 68%, even as per student State funding declined by 26%.  The results of this disconnect are clear—too many qualified California students have been turned away, we have lost top notch faculty and much of the cost burden has been shifted to students and their families in the form of higher tuition and fees.

Fortunately, there has been a growing consensus in the Capitol that this situation has got to change.  Both the State Assembly and Senate versions of the 2018-19 State Budget call for full funding of UC and CSU funding requests to enable both institutions to accommodate more students without further increasing tuition.  Hopefully, the final Budget enacted by the Legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown will reflect this level of support for higher education.

Read the complete op-ed on the Fox & Hounds website.