Senator Marty Block, is in… the Senate, not the Assembly (duh). His correct email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Sorry for the hassle for those of you who have already sent messages to him…
We have excellent news to report from the State Senate. The Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance chaired by Senator Marty Block finalized their higher education budget yesterday. Thanks to higher revenue projections from the Legislative Analyst’s Office above what the Governor had based his May revise proposal on, the Senate is proposing increases in several key areas:
1) A doubling of the COLA proposed by the Governor, up from 0.85% to 1.70%. Still not a windfall, but definitely an improvement.
2) $25 million to hire additional full-time faculty. That equates to approximately 715 new full-time faculty hires statewide, over and above current faculty obligation number (FON) mandates.
3) An increase of $6.5 million in the part-time faculty office hour fund. This is nearly three times the current funding level, and 40% higher than pre-recession peak funding.
I am pleased to say that all three of these items have been top priorities for the CFT and it’s very rewarding to see us make progress in all three of these categories.
Our remaining advocacy efforts on how to cover the proposed CalSTRS funding increase will probably be decided by tomorrow. It is our understanding that the Assembly will be finalizing its education budget tomorrow as well, so stay tuned as those details emerge.
Although there is still a long path ahead for all of these items to be signed by the Governor, at least things are moving in the right direction. It wouldn’t hurt to send an email of thanks to Marty Block <email@example.com> for understanding, valuing, and advocating for the community colleges.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or would like more information.