California higher education finally has something positive to look forward to, following Gov Jerry Brown’s proposed budget announcement this week. The new budget includes substantial increases to the state’s financially strapped higher education systems. Thanks to a possible tax hike voters passed in November, good news for the institutions has finally arrived.
Both the California State University and the University of California systems received $250 million in additional funding; the California Community College system received a welcomed $197 million in addition to $179 million in previously deferred funding obligations. Compared to last year’s funding allocation, the new increases mean a $1.3 billion increase for state higher education, or 5.3 percent, thanks to the newly released proposed state budget.
According to the UC Regents, the funding increases fall short of the amounts necessary to prevent tuition hikes, but the governor does not go along with that opinion.
Brown plans to apply pressure to other state university board members to prevent tuition increases, and vowed to attend university board meetings in part to be sure board members understand where he stands on this point. Runaway tuition hikes have been devastating for students and their families the last few years, and Gov. Brown has voiced his outrage over the problem before.
A novel plan is included in the budget proposal to link future school funding to their ability to graduate students in a more timely manner than has been seen in recent years.
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