(Los Angeles, CA) — Governor Gavin Newsom proposed $36 billion in his second budget for higher education citing the critical role a degree plays for individual economic mobility and in keeping California’s workforce strong. A first amongst governors of the state, Governor Newsom spoke about the need to intentionally address racial disparities in college access, success and affordability and his expectation that budget investments be used to do so.
The Governor’s budget sets an expectation that the California Community Colleges, California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) systems expand access, improve time-to-degree, improve graduation rates, close achievement gaps and meet the needs of students in key underserved regions of the state.
In addition to proposing $32 million for enrollment growth at California Community Colleges, the Governor proposed $15 million for a pilot fellowship program to improve faculty diversity; a program, that when implemented, should have immediate effects on recruitment, hiring, classroom instruction and professional development that results in significantly more faculty that are Black, Latinx, Asian and Native American. In his press conference, the Governor acknowledged the growing racial diversity of our campus student bodies and the importance of students having faculty that look like them as a key student success strategy.
The budget includes a five-percent increase in on-going General Fund support to the UC ($217.7 million) and CSU ($199 million) to support operations, enrollment growth and improving graduation rates. The Governor was explicit about his desire to see the systems grow the number of seats at the most impacted and in-demand campuses while improving degree completion for underrepresented groups. Read more