Hope in Sacramento?

Could California’s state budget waiting game be nearing an end? If what Schwarzenegger’s office said last week is any indication (that state lawmakers and the governor have reached a “framework of an agreement”) it appears we might soon have an approved budget. My fingers are crossed, but I’m not holding my breath quite yet.

Friday marked a record-setting day — the longest-ever budget impasse.

Let’s hope the aforementioned “framework of an agreement” still contains the $305 million that Schwarzenegger has vowed to restore to the CSU this year and another $60 million for enrollment growth.

If those funds do find their way to reality, it’s unclear what CSUB’s cut will be. Any “new” funds are highly welcomed and will do a lot to support our academic mission here on campus.

Meanwhile, SB1440 (the California Transfer Bill) is rumored to be close to a signature. The bill, which has been sitting on the governor’s desk for several weeks, will ease the path from a community college to a CSU by streamlining requirements between the two systems. If the bill passes, a community college student who achieves an associates degree with a 2.0 GPA or better would be guaranteed admittance to a CSU campus with junior standing.

It’s estimated that on average students who start at a community college graduate from a CSU having taken 162 semester units when only 120 are required.

The extra time students spend in college costs the state, occupies space in classrooms and wastes other resources that would otherwise be available to other students.

For the sake of our students and higher education in general, let’s hope it’s a good week in Sacramento.

— Rob Meszaros, Director of Public Affairs and Communications