The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

CSU sees increase in 2021-22 funding

Increase in state education budget to relieve CSU system, SF State
Cameron Lee
Photo of the Liberal and Creative Arts Building from Font Boulevard at SF State on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. (Cameron Lee / Golden Gate Xpress)

SF State’s University Budget Committee meeting on Thursday exuded a sense of tepid relief among attendees as SF State CFO Jeff Wilson announced that the California State University system would be receiving over $7.6 billion in funding, $144 million more from the state than its board of trustees had requested, for the 2021-22 school year. 

The potential increase in budget stems from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed state budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year, which was announced on Jan. 8. In it, he outlines his objectives for the CSU funding increase, namely, to support CSU’s operational costs and to ensure it is making progress toward its Graduation Initiative 2025

This news is further contrasted by the near $300 million budget decrease that CSU received in the current academic year. In an interview with Xpress, Wilson, who also serves as SF State’s Interim vice president of Administration and Finance, said that this translated to a $21 million hit to SF State’s budget, which “had a significant impact on our ability to fund our operations with current resources.”

Among some of the cost-saving measures were the proposed layoffs of 131 members of SF State’s staff in Fall 2020, which worked to alleviate the university’s initially reported $40 million budget deficit. Of the 131, 68 received their finalized layoff notices on Nov. 9, 2020.

It is not yet known how much will be given to individual campuses across the CSU system, such as SF State. However, Wilson estimated that the university would be allocated roughly $7.25 million – a prediction Wilson made looking at breakdowns of past CSU budgets.

In response to the governor’s proposed budget increase, CSU’s new Chancellor, Joseph Castro, committed to not raising tuition for next school year and says he “will not support a systemwide furlough program.” The commitment, however, is not legally binding.

Castro’s announcement comes weeks after Newsom rejected tuition increases from CSU and University of California, promising additional funding prior to the release of the state budget.

Teddy Albiniak, SF State’s Academic Senate president, felt a sense of temporary encouragement from the budget meeting. “The cataclysmic scenarios that people thought, which were that there would be more budget cuts and that there would be no federal assistance — that didn’t happen,” he said.

Federal assistance is, in fact, on the way. On Jan. 14, the Department of Education announced that it would be allocating more than $21 billion in COVID relief for colleges and universities, made possible through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act signed by former President Trump on Dec. 27, 2020. 

President Biden requested the department of education “extend the pause on federal student loan payments and collections and keep the interest rate at 0%,” according to an official White House statement made on Jan. 20, demonstrating his administration’s commitment to supporting higher education, even at the student level.

While President Biden’s COVID-19 relief bill would provide $35 billion in emergency funds for higher education, the extent to which that would impact CSU, and especially SF State’s financial situation, is yet to be determined.

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About the Contributors
Magill was born in San Francisco but spent about half of his life living in France. He moved back to the Bay in 2015, and in his spare time he tends to his herbs and veggies, sitting alone with his thoughts anguishing over the existential dangers facing his generation.
Cameron Lee is in his last semester at SF State and is looking forward to creating interesting visuals for both the newspaper and magazine. He is a San Francisco native and freelance photographer and is into everything tech, photography, and eighties music. Lee is also an Instant Film fanatic.  

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CSU sees increase in 2021-22 funding