CSU maintains high marks, state funding inadequate shows annual poll

According to results out this week from the annual higher education poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of Californians continue to rate the CSU as doing a good or excellent job. These results are similar to the results of each poll dating back to 2007.

The study also shows that the majority of Californians surveyed feel that state funding of higher education is inadequate, while nearly all Californians say the state’s higher education system is important to the quality of life and economic vitality of the state.

Following are some notable findings from the poll:

• 97 percent say that the state’s higher education system is important to quality of life and economic vitality of the state over the next 20 years.

•74 percent of residents say the state does not provide enough money for colleges and universities, up 17 points from October 2007 (57%).

•68 percent believe that spending for public higher education should be given a high or very high priority, a 14-point increase from November 2008 (54%).

•57 percent favor spending more on higher education even at the expense of other programs.

•62 percent are very concerned that the state budget situation will cause significant spending cuts in higher education, up 14 points from November 2008 (48%).

•57 percent of parents with children 18 or younger are very worried about being able to afford college (43% October 2007, 46% November 2008, 50% November 2009). Concern is especially high today among Latino parents, with 72 percent very worried about being able to pay for college—up 19 points since 2007.

It is clear that Californians see higher education as critical and adequately funding it is of upmost importance. Let’s hope the new governor and legislature feel the same way and make higher education a priority.

For the full report, click here.

— Rob Meszaros, CSUB Director of Public Affairs and Communications