On March 14, 2011, nearly 20,000 college students descended upon the California state capitol in Sacramento. While student rallies aren’t exactly a rare occurrence, the situation facing public higher education in California is like little else.
Should Governor Brown’s budget pass, the California State University (CSU) budget will have shrunk by more than 22 percent, almost $700 million dollars, since the 2007-2008 fiscal year. Unsurprisingly, students have had to make up for this shortfall – since 2002, tuition at the CSU has increased by 303 percent.
Yet, the situation in California can become even more dire: should voters reject Brown’s proposed tax extensions, the Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates the CSU will need to reduce enrollment by 21,650 students and increase tuition by another 10 percent.