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Cal State trustees discuss planned $125 million funding increase

California Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed increases to Cal State funding.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed increases to Cal State funding.
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Trustees of the California State University system on Tuesday began deliberating how to spend a $125 million funding increase proposed by Governor Jerry Brown.

"After struggling through one of the toughest times in CSU history, the system is now in a position to address some of its critical needs," said Robert Turnage, the assistant vice chancellor for budget.

If the increase is approved by the state legislature in June, Cal State’s funding would increase to $2.3 billion. That would be a big reversal. Cal State has suffered $1 billion in cuts over the last five years. The cuts have led Cal State administrators to limit enrollment.

It's not alone. The state has closed budget deficits in recent years by drastically reducing funds for K-12 schools and community colleges as well as public universities.  

Students have shouldered a large part of the funding cuts through trustee-approved tuition increases. Full time, in-state undergraduate yearly tuition at Cal State rose from $1,428 in 2002 to $5,472 in the 2013. Cal State administrators said there are no plans to increase tuition during the current academic year or 2013-14.

The proposed funding increase would allow the university to meet some of the increasing demand for freshman college admission by opening up 6,000 full time student seats across the 23-campus system.

It would also provide $38 million in pay increases for all workers at Cal State except campus presidents, executives, and the Cal State chancellor.

Trustees will debate and take action on state funding increases after June 15th. That’s when the state legislature is expected to pass a budget for the next fiscal year.