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January 11, 2007

Contact: Erica Romero
Executive Director,
Western Regional Office
(916) 442-0392

HACU:  California Governor’s Budget a Mixed Bag

for Latino Students and the Colleges that Serve Them

SACRAMENTO, CA – While pleased overall with Governor Schwarzenegger’s investments in higher education in the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2007 – 08 in California, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) also expressed disappointment with elements of it. 

On the positive side, HACU applauds the Governor’s continued commitment to Career Technical Education (CTE) and the community college system: the $52 million dollar investment in CTE and the backfilling of revenues caused by reductions in the community college fees will be a boon to the large number of Latino students attending California community colleges.  HACU also looks forward to another year of fully funded equalization for the community college system.  In addition, HACU is pleased that the Governor lived up to the compacts signed with the University of California and California State University systems.

On the other hand, Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget cut funding for Student Academic Preparation and Education Programs.  The Governor removed $7 million from the California State University System and $19.3 million from the University of California in academic preparation funds.  These programs are essential to the academic success of many Latino students. 

Furthermore, HACU was disappointed that the Governor chose not to buy out the proposed fee increases that will hit CSU and UC students.  The CSU and UC systems need the monies generated in order to continue to provide a world-class education to their students; however, these fees will cost UC students an added $104.7 million out of pocket and CSU students an additional $97.8 million.  HACU hopes the Legislature will consider fully funding the needs of the higher education systems and buy out those fee increases.

“As the budget process moves forward, we hope the Legislature will recognize the importance of a world-class education system that is financially accessible to all students. We strongly urge the Legislature to fully fund the academic preparation programs at the CSU and UC systems, and to buy-out the proposed fee increases.  Adequately funding public higher education is critical to the economic and social health of the state as well as to the personal and professional development of its citizens,” said Antonio Flores, President and CEO of HACU.

HACU represents more than 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America and Spain. Currently, HACU has 96 members in the state of California and in September of 2005 opened a regional office in Sacramento to handle Hispanic higher education legislative and policy issues in the western region of the U.S.  Although its member institutions in the U. S. represent less than 10% of all higher education institutions nationwide, together they are home to more than three-fourths of all Hispanic college students. HACU is the only national educational association that represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).