Governor's Budget Proposal Includes Restoration of UC Funding

Related Articles »

  • Printer Friendly Printer Friendly
  • Comments Comments (0)

Correction Appended

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled his proposed 2010-11 state budget Friday, which included $370 million in restored funding for the University of California.

The proposed budget eliminated $305 million in cuts made during a special state legislative session last February. A $224.5 million bump in funding for state higher education also earmarked an additional $14.1 million to the UC retirement plan as well as $51.3 million to fund the enrollments of 5,121 additional UC students, according to the proposed budget summary.

The proposed increases followed promises made by Schwarzenegger during his State of the State address Wednesday when he said he would support the restoration of funding for public higher education as a means to spur economic growth.

During the same speech, he proposed a state constitutional amendment that would ultimately shift funds from the state corrections system to higher education. Under the plan, spending on corrections would be limited to 7 percent of the state budget, while public higher education would receive at least 10 percent.

"Spending 45 percent more on prisons than universities is no way to proceed into the future," Schwarzenegger said. "If you have two states and one spends more on educating and one spends more on incarcerating, in which state's economy would you invest?"

Higher education is one of the few areas in Schwarzenegger's proposed budget which would not see any additional budget cuts for next year. While the $370 million increase falls short of the $913 million that UC requested to restore previous state cuts made to the university, UC President Mark Yudof said in a statement that the proposal is an important first step to reversing state divestment in the 10-campus system.

"We now turn to the Legislature to adopt the governor's proposals and to find every opportunity possible to fulfill the $913 million needed to restore UC's funding," Yudof said. "This money is vital if UC is to avoid declining educational quality, access and research."

But the university will still be in the red this year if state funding is not further increased in the coming months, according to UC spokesperson Steve Montiel.

He added that although it was too soon to see whether the increase in state funding could lead to a rollback of student fee increases, additional fee increases for the next year were off the table.

"Even with what the governor is proposing we are still in the hole," Montiel said. "The short answer is that there aren't any plans to revisit the issue of fees for the 2010-11 year."

The budget proposal will be revised as both the Republican and Democratic parties are expected to present alternative budgets in the coming months. A two-thirds majority of both houses of the Legislature is needed to pass the state budget.

Because the proposed budget--which includes drastic cuts to health and human services--will likely be difficult to pass in the Legislature, Montiel said that mobilizing the university community in support of increasing state funding for the university is key to securing more funds.

The university set up a Web site late last year that provides community members with their local state representative's information and pre-written letters that can be sent to their representative as well as the governor.

"We are going to continue to advocate in the Legislature," Montiel said. "Really the next step is to focus on the Legislature and the legislators."


Correction: Saturday, January 30, 2010
The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed 2010-11 state budget would allocate $54.3 to fund the enrollments of 5,121 additional UC students. In fact, the proposed budget would allocate $51.3 million to fund the enrollments.

The Daily Californian regrets the error.

Javier Panzar covers higher education. Contact him at [email protected]

Comments (0) »

Comment Policy
The Daily Cal encourages readers to voice their opinions respectfully in regards to both the readers and writers of The Daily Californian. Comments are not pre-moderated, but may be removed if deemed to be in violation of this policy. Comments should remain on topic, concerning the article or blog post to which they are connected. Brevity is encouraged. Posting under a pseudonym is discouraged, but permitted. Click here to read the full comment policy.
White space
Left Arrow
Higher Education
Image Student regent resigns after sex crime allegations
Jesse Cheng officially announced his resignation from his positio...Read More»
Higher Education
Image UC spared additional cuts in budget revision
While the University of California escaped further funding reductions M...Read More»
Higher Education
Image UC Board of Regents wary of unreliable state funds
SAN FRANCISCO - Following the release of Gov. Jerry Brown's revis...Read More»
Higher Education
Image UC Student Regent Jesse Cheng announces his resign...
Former UC Student Regent Jesse Cheng announced in an open le...Read More»
Higher Education
Image Reform caucus sweeps executive positions in electi...
A little more than five months after a contentious contract rat...Read More»
Right Arrow

Job Postings

White Space