Jul 11th, 2011

CA Education Policy News Update

By: Mona Vakilifathi | 02:07 PM

After Governor Brown’s veto of the first proposed state budget two weeks ago, he assured Democrats and the public that he would be able to negotiate with Republicans in passing his new budget proposal, including his tax extensions. However, according to the L.A. Times and the Southern California Public Radio, Brown gave up on such negotiations with Republicans soon after his claims. As a result, Brown and state Democrats produced another budget plan on Monday, June 27th that was similar to the first proposed budget plan that had little support from state Republicans, as mentioned by the L.A. Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Reuters.
According to the Contra Costa Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The O.C. Register, Capitol Weekly, The San Jose Mercury News, the KQED Capital Notes blog, The New York Times, Reuters, and Bloomberg, Brown and Democrats reached a budget deal on Monday, June 27th. Since the proposed budget didn’t include the tax extensions in any form, Democrats claim that the new budget plan only required a majority vote that Democrats can attain without a single Republican vote. In addition, according to The Sacramento Bee in two articles here and here, this plan assumes that the state will be able to generate $4 billion in revenue during the next fiscal year to prevent further cuts to state-funded programs like K-12 education, higher education, public safety programs, and in-home supportive services. In other words, if the state is not able to secure the $4 billion in funding during the next fiscal year, mid-year cuts (also referred to as “trigger cuts”) will be enforced upon these particular services, as explained by The Sacramento Bee. As reported by The Sacramento Bee, the KQED Capital Notes blog, the L.A. Times, the Contra Costa Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, and Reuters, Democrats passed their budget proposal on Tuesday, June 28th. The Sacramento Bee provides another article that details the proposed Democratic budget plan and the expected cuts on state services, including K-12 education and higher education.
On Thursday, June 30th, Brown signed the Democrat’s budget plan a day before the new fiscal year, as reported by the KQED Capital Notes blog, The Sacramento Bee in two articles here and here, The O.C. Register, Contra Costa Times, the L.A. Times in two articles here and here, and The San Francisco Chronicle. As mentioned by The Sacramento Bee, Brown carried out several line-item vetoes before signing the budget. Such line-item vetoes included reduction of funding for certain education services and commissions, including the elimination of the California Longitudinal Teacher Integrated Data System (CALTIDES) and the California Postsecondary Education Commission. (The California Legislative counsel provides more information about line-item vetoes under the term “Blue Pencil” in the Glossary of Legislative Terms). The Thoughts on Public Education blog reports on the CALTIDES cut.
As reported by The San Francisco Chronicle, Capitol Weekly, HealthyCal.org, and The Sacramento Bee, the approved budget plan assumes that the state will be able to generate an additional $4 billion in revenue during the next fiscal year; cuts in K-12 education and community colleges are expected if such revenue is not secured. Also, since no tax extension was passed with the budget plan, a one percent sales decrease becomes effective on the first day of the fiscal year on July 1st, as reported by The Sacramento Bee. As mentioned by the L.A. Times, this year’s budget plan barely passes its deadline with strong cuts in state services and The Sacramento Bee reports that this year’s budget helps the state in addressing the state’s short-term deficit.
The final version of the budget, as well as previous budget proposals, can be found at the Department of Finance website.
How will the budget affect education?
The L.A. Times and The Daily Breeze, as well as  VoiceofSanDiego.org, provide general information regarding the implications of the state budget upon Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) budget plans respectively for the next fiscal year.
Higher Education: As described by summary and detailed versions of the state budget plan, The California State University system (CSU) and the University of California system (UC) already received a cut of $500 million each this year. With the final budget plan, both the CSU and the UC system will face another $150 million cut each, totaling at a $650 million this year, as reported by The Sacramento Bee, The San Bernardino Sun, and The San Francisco Chronicle. As mentioned by The San Francisco Chronicle, The Sacramento Bee, The San Jose Mercury News, The Fresno Bee, and the L.A. Times, it is expected that tuition will rise significantly at the CSU and UC institutions, in addition to the expected 10 percent and 8 percent tuition hikes, respectively.
This week, The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the CSU Chancellor Charles Reed will be requesting an additional 12% tuition increase starting this fall; the tenth tuition hike in the past ten years. California Watch and The San Francisco Chronicle report that many CSU campuses are noted on a list of public colleges or universities for fasting-raising tuition in the United States. The San Diego Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Bay Citizen report that several UC campuses, namely UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC San Diego, are accepting larger numbers of out-of-state students in recent years to gain additional revenue from out-of-state tuition rates. In response to the most recent tuition hikes, The Fresno Bee reports that student groups are hoping to pass AB 970 so that students can have at least a six-month notice before a tuition increase can be implemented.
Want more information about any of these stories or about a story that was not reported in this post? Feel free to leave a request in the “Comments” section below.


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