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Students, Teachers Demand More CSU Funding from State’s Rainy Day Fund

SACRAMENTO -- Increasing the state's rainy day fund is something Governor Brown has been trying to do for years, but a group of California State University students and teachers says they need to tap into that fund now.

"$200 is textbooks, $200 is gas money," Sacramento State student Jorge Quintana said.

Quintana, a fourth-year Sac State student, says even what some may consider small tuition or fee increases can make a world of difference -- not just to students.

"I've seen tuition go from $2,300 to $2,800," he said. "Now, another $200."

Students like Quintana fear the Cal State University system will raise costs to students again if budget negations don't go their way. There is a $170 million gap between what the Cal State system says they need to be able to offer enrollment to all qualified students and what Governor Brown has proposed.

"When you have the resources you really have to invest, that will carry us through, we can't keep telling people austerity is forever," former CSU teacher Lillian Taiz said.

Thursday, a coalition of CSU faculty, students and lobbyists spoke out in Sacramento at a Senate budget hearing, pushing lawmakers to give them the funding they're asking for. They point to the state's proposed $6.1 billion rainy day fund -- saying it's storming in public education.

"During bad times, they cut us very heavily and during good times, they say, "Oh, it might get bad again,'" Taiz said. "So you can't win for losing."

The UC system is in a similar boat, asking for $105 million more than the governor has allocated.

Brown's allocations amount to a three percent budget increase for the CSU and UC systems. The governor has said the universities don`' need more money, they need to better manage their resources.