Message from the Chair
As a proud California State University graduate, I am dismayed to learn that Governor Brown’s January budget proposal for the CSU system falls $171 million short of the amount requested.
Graduating nearly 100,000 diverse undergraduate students into hundreds of fields each year, the California State University system’s (CSU) 3.4 million alumni help sustain the state’s economy and ensure employers have the skills-ready graduates they need.
Without additional funds from the Legislature, CSU campuses will have to make difficult decisions to cover financial obligations -- diminishing student access, success, limiting degree attainment and depriving California’s industries of skilled professionals. This will greatly impact the CSU’s ability to provide a much-needed quality education to those who need it the most.
Time and again, we hear from our 500 chamber members regarding the need for more skilled workers and a better-educated workforce. There are jobs available, but without the right education, they will continue to go unfilled, drastically impacting our local economy and that of the state.
While it is a good thing that thousands more students are meeting minimum CSU eligibility requirements, we need to ensure that they have a seat in the CSU. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, the state needs one million additional college graduates by 2030. The CSU is answering this call and is on track to graduate an additional half million students in the next decade! But without adequate funding, this simply will not happen.
As Ventura County’s largest City and with an estimated 21.8% of Oxnard’s population living in poverty, we know all to well that obtaining an education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty and providing our community members with a better quality of life.
We appreciate the support of our local State Senator Jackson and Assemblymember’s Irwin and Limon for the support of fully funding the CSU system and urgently request Governor Brown fully fund the CSU system.
Ensuring that higher education is a top legislative budget priority, will continue to aid CSU’s in educating California’s next generation of workers.