California State Universities promised no tuition hikes for the 2013-14 school year thanks to voter-approved Proposition 30, which helped bring in more than $125 million in funding to the cash-strapped system that for years has tapped students to fill in budget gaps. Conan Nolan reports from Long Beach for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on March 19, 2013.
California State University students and their parents received the good – and rare – news on Tuesday that they will not see any tuition hikes for the 2013-14 academic year.
The CSU board of trustees met in Long Beach discuss how to spend money rather than on where to cut it – a first in almost five years.
Thanks to voter-approved Proposition 30, CSU officials said they plan to use a projected $125.1 million in extra state funding to help boost enrollment and provide pay raises for campus employees.
"Getting more students through and onto the next challenge is sort of the driving issue we are trying to solve," said CSU Chancellor Timothy White.
Gov. Jerry Brown warned system leaders not to spend all of the Prop 30 money in one place.
"We have money to pay for a lot of things, but the desires and wants outweigh the money," Brown said. "We still must hold the line and balance our budgets."
The extra funds come as a relief for CSU students, who for years have been tapped for money to fill in budget gaps.
The additional funds could be allocated to increase enrollment by 6,000 students, cover hikes in employee health care coverage, and allow for a pay increase for faculty and staff.
There is an additional $10 million to help with so-called "bottleneck" or high-demand courses, the wait for which keep students from graduating on time. The money is directed to increase online learning, which the governor said is the wave of the future.
"Our universities are brick and mortar with a lot of people in them," Brown said. "Technology can help us take these resources and go a lot further. That means more courses, getting out of college quicker and not going into debt anymore for these exorbitant fees."