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CSU committee proposes $900M funding request

November 17, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The California State University Board of Trustees meeting drew protesters at Cal State Long Beach Tuesday. Students and their supporters say they're fed up with budget cuts and tuition fee hikes.The board met to deal with the $564 million budget cut for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

The California State University Board of Trustees Finance Committee approved a budget proposal that includes a request for an additional $900 million in state funding. The full state request asks for $3.2 billion, an increase from the current state funding of $2.3 billion.

Students are worried that the budget will cause a 10 percent tuition increase, and they may not be able to afford school. CSU fees were increased by approximately 30 percent over the academic year.

"Education is becoming hard to afford as historically it has been especially for people of low income, people of color. So today, what we want to accomplish is just to stand up and basically fight for our right to education, because it should not be a privilege that only a few people can afford," said CSU student Stevie Merino.

"For me, I work full-time, and I'm at work more than I'm at school, and I think that's ridiculous. School isn't really my main focus anymore because I have to work more than I have to go to school, and it's just become unaffordable," said Jessica Bardales, another CSU student.

One proposed way to reduce the budget is to cut enrollment over the next two years by 400,000 students. The board hopes that the budget they ask for does not include any fee increases to be passed down to students.

The full Board of Trustees is expected to discuss the budget proposal on Wednesday.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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