CSUs prepare for no tuition increase in Fall 2013

The California State University system plans to keep tuition at its current rates for the Fall 2013 semester after Gov. Jerry Brown released a state budget proposal allocating an additional $125.1 million for CSUs Jan. 10.

The CSU board of trustees asked Gov. Brown and state legislature for $371.9 million in the fall of last year. Gov. Brown responded to the request with an additional $125.1 million for CSU funding as well as the $125 million to fund tuition roll-backs mandated by Proposition 30.

CSU campuses will each receive a portion of the $125.1 million if the budget proposal is approved by the state legislature. Campus administrators decide what the new budget money will go toward.

“We are very grateful for the $125.1 million,” CSU spokeswoman Stephanie Thara said. “This year‘s (budget proposal) signals Gov. Brown is making a reinvestment in higher education.”

The last time CSU tuition did not increase was 2006, according to the CSU budget central blog. Enrollment has increased from 398,000 to 417,000 in the same time period and the CSUs experienced roughly $750 million in cuts to state funding in the 2010-11 academic year alone. As a result, the CSU system has implemented tuition increases and unpaid furlough days for faculty members.

“It’s a step in the right direction (the $125.1 million), but the CSUs and California need to do a lot more to make good on their promise of affordable, accessible education,” Raymond Parenti-Kurttila, SF State’s Associated Students, Inc. vice president of external affairs, said. “It’s not, by any means, where we were 10 years ago.”

Gov. Brown slated $10 million of the $125.1 million for online education. The CSU’s newest online program offers high demand “gateway” courses, such as elementary math, for non-traditional students such as mothers, high school and military students.

Wei Ming Dariotis, SF State chapter president of the California Faculty Association, expressed concerns for faculty members regarding the $125.1 million.

“The last contract had a provision to bring mid-career faculty up to standard pay, part of that was given out, 16 percent. I’d like to see the campus fulfill the rest of that commitment. At most it would take $3,000.”

Although the CSU has no plans for a tuition increase, it is not guaranteed. The state budget proposal is subject to change and will be revised in May. The final version of the budget will not go into effect until passed by the state legislature, which must happen by June 15 as mandated by the state constitution. SF State’s portion of the projected $125.1 million will not be determined until after that deadline.