Revised budget gives CSU schools a boost



Louis LaVenture,
Sports and Campus Editor

In January, Governor Jerry Brown disappointed California State University leaders when he stated he would allot an operating budget for the 23-school system for the 2015-2016 school year of $119.5 million: $156 million short of what they originally requested.

However, Brown last month announced revisions to the 2015-2016 state budget that will potentially provide the full $269 million the CSU Board of Trustees requested. But the governor’s offer stands only if the schools agree not to raise tuition prices for students.

Specifically, the governor’s revised budget guarantees CSU $217 million, and the remaining $52 million would come from “a projected enrollment increase,” according to Stephanie Thara, Public Affairs Communications Specialist for California State University, Office of the Chancellor.

Different schools require different things and it will be up to those institutions to choose where they want to apply some of the funds.”

— Stephanie Thara

“This will allow the CSU system to add up to 12,000 more students by 2016,” Thara said.

According to Thara, the CSU system has $1.8 billion in backlogged maintenance that is the result of things being cut by importance when the previous budgets were not met in full.

Thara also said CSU is confident they will see an increase in enrollment since applications to the 23 campuses have been on the rise in recent years. 790,000 applications were submitted to the CSU system for fall 2015, which was 30,000 more than fall 2014, according to Thara.

With a new fully funded budget the CSU system will be able to increase their overall enrollment by three percent through offering more classes to students.

The money will be divided among the 23-campus system based on enrollment and according to Thara CSU Northridge and Fullerton are generally the most populated schools in the system. In fall of 2014 they had 32,513 and 30,819 total students respectively. CSUEB had a total of 13,017 students in that same time period which included undergraduate, graduate and post baccalaureate students. CSUEB has the 14th highest enrollment for a CSU school behind Chico State, which has 16,252 students.

The bulk of the money will be used to repair old buildings, build new facilities, faculty and staff salaries and ongoing infrastructure costs, according to Thara.

“Different schools require different things and it will be up to those institutions to choose where they want to apply some of the funds,” Thara said. “For example, San Luis Obispo is a technical school and requires different things than other schools, which is why the decisions are primarily left up to the individual institution.”

According to CSU officials, the $216 million from the state and the $52 million expected from enrollment is what the system originally requested in November 2014. They have said the governor has “raised his commitment to students” by approving the increased budget.