CSU officials promise no tuition hikes with 2013-14 budget

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The California State University plans to plunk a projected $125.1 million in extra state funding into its upcoming academic year. School officials say the money will help bring needed changes, including a boost in enrollment and pay raises for campus employees.

The extra money comes from Proposition 30, the one-cent sales tax increase approved by California voters in November. After the measure passed, CSU refunded $250 to students who had paid the 9 percent tuition increase for Fall of 2012.

Assistant Vice Chancellor Robert Turnage discussed the university system’s budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year in a teleconference ahead of Tuesday's meeting of the CSU Board of Trustees. That’s when officials will take a closer look at the plan.

Of the additional state money, $38.9 million will go to adding more instructors and support staff to help enroll 6,000 more students, said Turnage. Another $38 million will fund average pay raises of 1.2 percent to employees, while about $48 million will pay for higher health benefits and energy costs.

“This plan that is being recommended aligns with the governor’s dollar amounts,” said Turnage. “As far as we possibly can, we are trying to emphasize student access and success while not neglecting some other critical needs that have been unaddressed for some time.”

Turnage said with this new budget, students won’t have to worry about coughing up more money for tuition.

“I think everyone understands what our students have been through the last few years," he said. “It’s very clear that  we need a break and so we are not  proposing any fee increase as part of this budget.”

Governor Jerry Brown proposed a four-year plan, but CSU gets incremental funding year by year. As part of the plan, Brown required the university to invest $10 million in "bottleneck" or high-demand courses. After school officials discuss the proposal and offer feedback, the governor will consider making changes in May. The state's fiscal year begins July 1.

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