September 9, 2002 Vol. VII, No. 2
CSU Responds to Draft State Education Master Plan
California State University officials have expressed support for the overall goals in the latest draft of a new state education master plan, while making suggestions for refining the plan's language.
The first draft plan was released in early May and another version was made available in August by the Legislature's Joint Committee to Develop a Master Plan for Education.
Both versions would expand the state's existing master plan to include K-12 schools and higher education, with a focus on student learning, educational quality, access, achievement, accountability and affordability.
"This plan will help strengthen the critical link between higher education and the K-12 schools," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "We look forward to continuing to work with the joint committee to further enhance our ability to provide high-quality, accessible higher education."
In its formal response to the draft report, the CSU urged the legislative committee to give further consideration to three major issues:
Higher education financing strategy
The CSU has urged the Legislature, through the master plan, to endorse a long-term financing strategy for the CSU and the UC, similar to the partnership agreement with Gov. Gray Davis. The CSU also seeks:
- Revisions and updates to the marginal cost formula so that higher education funding reflects current costs;
- Modifications to the state's Cal Grant financial aid programs to allow more transfer students and older students to qualify;
- A long-term fee policy that would offer greater predictability about college costs for students, and that would allow revenues from student fees to be counted as supplemental revenue to the system.
The CSU advocates the creation of a distinct community college transfer degree that would form a clearer path for students to transfer to a four-year college. The CSU also wants to stress the importance of early assessment to ensure that K-12 students do not need remedial assistance in college.
The CSU seeks an accountability system that focuses on the skills and knowledge that students have gained through their education. Such a system would balance the need for accountability to students, parents, taxpayers, state policymakers, and others, while providing institutions with the flexibility they need to manage their day-to-day operations.
Any legislative changes required by the report would be taken up during the next legislative session. To learn more about the joint committee and the draft plan, see www.sen.ca.gov/masterplan/.
@csun | September 9, 2002 issue
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