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Potential Budget Cuts Threaten Higher Education in California



Governor Jerry Brown’s latest budget proposal, which calls for an additional $38 million cut to the University of California and further restrictions on Cal Grant recipients, could result in a 6 percent tuition increase for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year, according to UC officials.

The proposal was announced yesterday and recommends slashing the budgets of several state-sponsored health and welfare programs in order to account for a $15.7 billion deficit — nearly twice the amount Brown estimated in January. UC administration stated last week that unless the state can allocate an additional $125 million in funds to the University, tuition hikes will be considered for next year.

The UC Board of Regents will discuss possible budget scenarios at its Wednesday meeting in Sacramento, but will take no definitive action yet, according to a UCOP press release. The Regents chose to meet in the state capital rather than the UCSF campus, as previously scheduled, in order to participate in a rally alongside students in Sacramento.

While UCOP Director of Media Relations Steve Montiel said it is unclear how the proposal will impact the University’s budget for the 2012-2013 school year, the plan indicates a potential emphasis on education in the future.

“Governor Brown’s revised budget proposal makes it clear that he considers public higher education a priority for the state, and we appreciate that,” Montiel said in a statement. “His proposal is part of a long process, so at this point it would be premature to predict what the impact of the final 2012-13 state budget will be on the University of California. We will continue to seek a long-term funding agreement with the state that will provide the stable fiscal footing needed to preserve the University’s quality, access and affordability.”

 

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