The budget passed by the State Legislature Wednesday does many great things: it provides greater funding for affordable housing, builds the state’s Rainy Day Fund reserves, provides substantial new investment in higher education, and repeals the Maximum Family Grant.
The higher education provisions in total will make a great difference in the lives of Californians. The budget includes an additional $235 million for the California State University system, increases the number of slots for California students at Universities of California, caps out-of-state student enrollment, and provides another $190 million for the U.C. system. For community colleges, the budget supports two percent growth in enrollment and provides an additional $200 million to expand career technical education programs.
This investment in higher education is vital if California is to maintain its edge, and remain a global leader in innovation and enterprise, but it is not benefitting the entire state equally.
Until Stockton has a CSU campus of its own, as every other city of its size does, we won’t realize the full benefit of this kind of investment in higher education. This is a vital component to transforming our community, preparing for the economy of the future and achieving regional equality in access to higher education.