Higher Education Funding Momentum Must Continue

On March 15, 2019, Fox & Hounds published an op-ed from Dick Ackerman and Mel Levine, co-chairs of the California Coalition for Public Higher Education, titled, “Higher Education Funding Momentum Must Continue.” Here’s an excerpt:

The decisions by the University of California and California State University to hold the line on tuition increases in the Fall are welcome news, provided that Governor Gavin Newsom and the Legislature follow through with robust increases in State funding for UC, CSU and our community colleges. Otherwise, educational quality will suffer and thousands of deserving students will be turned away.

It used to be that tuition was not a factor at the University as the State wisely underwrote the cost of education. That changed as the State began decades on a fiscal roller-coaster that produced boom and bust Budgets. In the process, much of the cost of college funding at both UC and California State University were shifted to students and their families in the form of tuition and fees. Today, per student State funding for UC is less than half of what it was in 1980-81 and tuition has risen accordingly, even as the system has become more efficient and cost effective.

Fortunately, State higher education funding has edged up in recent years and Governor Newsom’s first budget proposal in January represents a significant recommitment to investment in our higher education system. The Governor’s January blueprint calls for $1.4 billion in added support for UC, CSU and the community colleges. Still the boost of $240 million in operating support for UC is barely half what the University needs. The Governor’s January Budget proposal does cover CSU costs as projected.

The op-ed continues:

The increases in State higher education funding over the past few years have been a positive sign, but they have been accompanied by mandates to enroll more California students without the dollars to accommodate those additional students. That isn’t sustainable.

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