CSU trustees discuss spending plan for extra $125M

March 19, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
California State University trustees met in Southern California to discuss how to spend the additional $125 million the system will get next year. It's the first positive outlook for Fresno State and the California State University system in years.

Fresno State President John Welty said, "I think it's encouraging that we're looking at modest increases for higher education as opposed to the huge reductions we've faced over the last four years."

On Tuesday, Welty was in Long Beach where CSU trustees gathered to discuss a budget proposal designed to boost enrollment by 6,000 students as well as increase pay for instructors.

"It would first of all provide funding for about 200 new students that we could admit for next year," said Welty. "It would also provide for a compensation pool of 1.2% for employees."

Governor Jerry Brown's proposed state budget calls for an additional $125 million in state funding for the CSU system.

$39 million would go towards hiring new instructors, increasing enrollment and adding online courses. $38 million would fund pay increases for employees, but would not include campus presidents or other executives. And $48 million would pay for mandatory increases in health benefits and energy costs.

Fueled by the passage of the prop 30 tax measure in November, students we talked with said they hope the proposal is the beginning of a turnaround for higher education, and applauded the plan for not increasing tuition and putting students and staff members first.

Jasmin Alexander said, "I know for me I have to buy a lot of books, pay for housing, everything like that so as tuition goes up that decreases our financial aid."

Anthony Bringetto said, "I think some of the professors are underpaid, especially for as many hours they put in. Especially in my department, a lot of the teachers give back to the students and i think they deserve the benefits from that."

It's now up to state legislators to pass a budget in June.


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