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Brown’s Funding Plan Takes Heat

The state Legislative Analyst’s Office released a report on Wednesday advising against Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision to remove earmarks on state funding for the UC and the CSU, thereby giving school administration less freedom on spending choices.

The outline also recommended that Brown forgo raising Cal Grant eligibility GPA requirements. According to statistics in the report, the GPA requirement proposed would eliminate aid for roughly one third of current Cal Grant recipients.

Cutting the incentives in the form of earmarks and admission targets would decrease the liability of administration and reduce the legislature’s role in regulating school spending, the LAO said.

“While we can appreciate the governor’s attention to higher education accountability, we think many aspects of the governor’s plan would reduce the legislature’s ability to allocate higher education funding according to its priorities,” the report said. “The elimination of enrollment targets and the promise of automatic funding increases are of particular concern.”

Among other recommendations, the report suggested cuts to the community college fee waiver program and seriously weighing options in the case that voters strike down Brown’s proposed tax hikes. UC and CSU systems would each be dealt $200 million in funding cuts if the tax increases fail.

—Staff Report

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