New California Budget Proposes Funding Boost for UC, CSU, and California Community Colleges


Nikita Cardozo

A revised budget proposal from Governor Gavin Newsom will grant the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges a big funding boost after they meet targets addressing affordability, access, and equity. The new targets will require UC campuses to add thousands of new seats for California students, while reducing the number of available seats for out-of-state and international students. 

The proposal requires many goals for California’s three university systems. Some include closing achievement gaps, adding more UC and CSU seats for California students, increasing graduation rates, lowering debts, boosting financial aid, and producing more graduates in high-demand fields, like technology, mathematics, and teaching. 

These three systems must submit reports to the governor and California legislature about their progress in meeting these goals, and they will determine whether they should receive the funding or not. If any of the systems do not reach their goal, their funding could be reduced for the next fiscal year, or the governor and legislature may step in to help them achieve the goals. 

The 10 UC campuses, which constitute more than 295,000 students, would receive an increase of $307.3 million for 2022-23, including $200.5 million for the base general fund increase and $99 million for enrollment growth and more space for California students. Additionally, the budget would allot $295 million for climate change and dyslexia research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. 

While the UCs are supposed to increase the number of California seats by 6,230 for Fall 2022, they are negotiating with Newsom. They have agreed to add 2,000 more California students each year from 2023-24 through 2026-27, with around 15% of the growth at UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and UCLA. The three UCs will reduce their number of out-of-state and international students by 900 students each year. The UCs also would increase their four-year graduation rates from 72.6% to 76% by 2030 and also better track graduation rates for students with disabilities. 

University of California President Michael V. Drake said in his statement that he is grateful for Gov. Newsom’s efforts to help the UC system financially. He expressed his support for the goals set by the proposal. Moreover, UCSD has also expressed their support and gratitude for the proposal to further enhance their goals of teaching, research, and public service. 

Earl Warren College sophomore Jennifer Becerra, an in-state student, voiced her opinion that this proposal wouldn’t benefit students. 

“In theory, this seems like a good idea for California students,” Becerra said.“However, this could create a barrier for out-of-state students that wouldn’t be guaranteed a spot even if they have better applications than in-state students.” 

The 23 CSU campuses, which include more than 485,550 students, would be granted an increase of $304.1 million in ongoing funding for 2022-23, including $211.1 million for the 5% base general funding increase and $81 million for enrollment growth. The proposed budget also allocates $233 million to build the CSU Bakersfield Energy Innovation Center.

CSU campuses have agreed to increase the number of California students by 14,000 over four years and the four-year graduation rates by 30% by 2025. Their goals include eliminating the gap in graduation rates among minority and low-income students, increasing the number of STEM enrolled students, and reducing the cost of instructional materials 50% by 2025, which would save students around $150 million annually. 

An estimated $1.6 billion will be allocated for California’s 116 community colleges. Community  colleges experienced a big drop in enrollment during the pandemic when many students chose to enter the workforce instead of continuing their education. $150 million would be devoted to assisting with the colleges’ enrollment and recruitment efforts. 

The University of California, California State University, and California Community colleges have expressed their support for Newsom’s proposals. Lawmakers have until June 15 to pass a budget.

Photo courtesy of the Public Policy Institute of California