STOCKTON (CBS13) — Could San Joaquin County soon be home to the next California State University? Earlier this year, Governor Gavin Newsom set aside $2 million in the budget to explore the possibility, and another state leader took the idea one step further Monday.
Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis toured the satellite Campus at CSU Stanislaus Monday to see if Stockton is a viable spot to expand.
She said more and more students cannot afford to leave home to pursue higher education and want more options to about where they can get that degree.
"It's just time that we at the state level really take this seriously and take the time to come here and listen. And we've had a whole day of listening to educators to students to elected officials to parents about why this location and this time is really ripe in investing more and expanding higher education opportunities here in Stockton," Kounalakis said.
Kounalakis said the state also has a big problem because the CSU system turned away 38,000 qualified applicants last year due to lack of room.
Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs and Assemblywoman Susan Eggman were on hand for Monday's tour, where they met with educators, parents, and students.
"Their dreams and aspirations are no different than the dreams and aspirations of folks who live in our great state; The idea is that you can work hard, do everything right, apply for a university in your home community, get educated and stay and contribute. So, we're looking forward to continuing the work and the process," Tubbs said.
Tubbs said the city has already done studies that show a CSU campus could generate $250 million a year into the regional economy.
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