Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Governor Giveth and the Governor Taketh Away

Before we provide some preliminary analysis of the proposed state budget for 2017-18 that was presented by the governor and his budget director Michael Cohen this morning, let's focus just on the higher ed piece.

The current "ongoing" general fund contribution for UC (in 2016-17) is $3,279.0 million. In the upcoming budget year, the governor proposes $3,362.1 million, an increase of $83.1 million.

On the other hand, in what are termed "one-time" funds for UC, the current year funding is $261.6 million. But in the next year, that amount drops to $169.0 million, a decrease of $92.6 million. So the cut more or less offset the increase.

We know the UC prez (and soon the Regents most likely) will endorse a tuition increase. The state budget does not reflect that proposal in the figures in presents. The governor does not say "over my dead body" in response. Rather, he continues the general line that there should be increases in efficiency and quality. Here is the language from the budget summary:

Tuition and Fees at the Public Segments

Fees at the community colleges will remain flat in 201718—a clear signal that the colleges will remain an accessible pathway to postsecondary education. At UC and CSU, fees have remained flat for five years. However, the UC Office of the President has indicated that it will present a 2.5percent tuition increase to the Board of Regents later in January, and the CSU Chancellor’s Office has indicated that the Chancellor will present a 5percent tuition increase to the Board of Trustees in March. These tuition increases would grow Cal Grant costs for UC students by $17.7 million and for CSU students by $24.9 million in 201718 beyond the costs reflected in the Budget. Any tuition increases must be viewed in the context of reducing the overall cost structure at UC and improving the graduation rates at CSU. Tuition increases without these improvements would only burden families with the cost of an inefficient system.

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