I know that opinions vary on the merits of Proposition 30, the recent tax initiative that a majority of California voters approved on Election Day. I personally view it as a good investment for students, the state’s economy, the workforce, and all of us. For Cal Poly, Proposition 30 has a positive impact in the short-term. It also provides some stability in funding for all K-12 public schools, as well as the state’s community college system. I am hopeful that the passage of Proposition 30 signals the beginning of the state’s reinvestment in public education.
Due to voter support of Proposition 30:
• Cal Poly avoids an additional $14.5 million cut in state funds.
• Students will not have to pay a scheduled $300-a-year increase in tuition fees that would have occurred in January.
• Cal Poly families also will receive a reduction of $500 for an annual tuition fee increase that began this fall.
It’s also likely that Cal Poly will be able to expand its enrollment next year by several hundred students—a step in the right direction given the imminent shortage of college-trained employees that California’s key industries face.
Even with this good news, the long-term benefits of new revenue can only be realized if the governor and the Legislature make higher education a priority. State support for Cal Poly and the California State University (CSU) remains drastically lower than it was several years ago. At the CSU system level, state support is nearly $1 billion lower. At Cal Poly, state support is down 44 percent, or about $67 million from 2007-08.
We will continue to educate elected officials that investing taxpayer dollars in Cal Poly and the CSU provides a solid return.
Collectively, we are helping California regain its advantage.
Thank for your continued support of Cal Poly.
Ed. note: The preceding letter was originally sent out to Cal Poly parents, alumni, and friends, and is running here with permission.