January 9, 2014
HACU Statement on the 2014-15 California Budget
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) appreciates the effort made by Governor Brown in the 2014-15 budget proposal which increases funding to the California Community Colleges, California State University system, and the University of California, as well as funding for the California Dream Act and the Cal Grant program; however, HACU urges greater increases for higher education and the Cal Grant program in order to meet the growing educational needs of Californians.
“The increased funding will restore access to the system that provides entry to higher education for the vast majority of Latino students that had been restricted by budget cuts of prior years,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “However, this is only the second year of increased funding for higher education and we are dismayed that the Governor provided only five percent of a requested ten percent increase to the four-year public segments to reach their educational goals.”
The Governor’s January Budget includes an additional $142.2 million in funding for the University of California and $177 million for the California State University system, and additional funding for the California Community Colleges. Even by the Governor’s own numbers, General Fund expenditures for the CSU and UC are 16% and 14% below 2007-08 levels. Last year the California system saw the largest number of applicants of Latino descent and increased funding will guarantee them a seat in college classrooms. The budget also provides added funding for the Cal Grant program, as well as funds for the first year implementation of the California Dream Act. Last year’s cuts to Cal Grants for students attending the independent not-for-profit institutions remain in this year’s budget, as do cuts to the Cal Grant B access awards.
Flores added, “While there is additional funding for Cal Grants, including Dream Act students, the budget does not restore Cal Grant B Access Awards or awards for students attending the independent nonprofit institutions to previous levels. These are some of California’s neediest students and we urge the Governor and the Legislature to find the resources to restore funding levels so that these students have real access to a higher education.”
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) represents approximately 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America and Spain. HACU’s regional office in Sacramento represents its membership in the western region of the U.S. HACU is the only national educational association that represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). For more information, visit www.hacu.net.
Media Contact: Norma Jean Revilla-Garcia- 210-576-3206