Governor Newsom had difficult decisions and serious cuts to make in this 2020-21 budget proposal, and it is clear things will get significantly worse if the federal government fails to provide needed assistance.
We call on Congress and the President to invest in a rapid economic recovery, by providing deserved federal assistance to our state in recognition that there cannot be an American recovery, without a California one.
In his updated budget proposal, Governor Newsom is responding to the economic challenges brought on by COVID-19 and eliminates many of his January proposals to expand enrollment funding for our public colleges and universities. Without aid from the federal government, California’s community colleges and universities stand to lose nearly $2 billion: $388 million at the University of California, $398 million at the California State University, and a total of $1.09 billion at the community colleges.
Assuming aid from the federal government, the Governor holds the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) budgets at 2019-20 levels with no cost of living increases and far below budget requests from both systems. The California Community Colleges would see deferred payments of promised funding in the hundreds of millions. And while the Governor maintains his commitment to two years of free community college and current funding levels for Cal Grant aid for students attending the state’s public colleges and universities, he proposes to cut the Cal Grant Award amount for low-income students attending California private non-profit institutions by over $1,000.
California’s college graduates provide the healthcare, science innovation, and safety net needed to get through this COVID-19 pandemic. They will be the ones who help the state recover from the economic downturn. Severe cuts to California’s colleges and universities threaten access, financial aid, and college completion, ultimately hurting the state’s long-term economic future.
Now our Legislature must get to work with Governor Newsom to prevent the disproportionate impact these higher education cuts will have by race/ethnicity and income on our most vulnerable students, including
. We urge our leaders not to balance the budget on the college dreams of our students.
To read the official budget documents produced by the Department of Finance, click