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January 20, 2021 - The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act provides the second round of federal relief funding for higher education. In this post, we recap the first round of federal relief funding for higher education, then describe the key elements of the second round of funding. We also compare funding allocations for higher education institutions in California under the first and second rounds of funding.
December 18, 2020 - To help address the state’s large budget deficit as estimated in June 2020, the 2020-21 budget package deferred a substantial amount of General Fund payments to schools and the California Community Colleges (CCC). In this post, we (1) provide background on community college cash flow and cash management, (2) describe the community college deferrals included in the state’s 2020-21 budget package, (3) explain how the CCC Chancellor’s Office is implementing these deferrals, (4) discuss how community college districts are responding, and (5) present options for the Legislature to consider, particularly given the improved budget outlook.
November 10, 2020 - The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the shift to campuses operating re-motely, the economic downturn, and state funding reductions have created fiscal challenges for the California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC). To help address these challenges, the 2020-21 Budget Act signaled the Legislature’s intent that the universities begin drawing down their core reserves for academic programs. Prior to the pandemic, the most recent data available showed that core reserves totaled $1.7 billion at CSU and $1.2 billion at UC. CSU and UC also plan to use their noncore reserves to maintain their self-supporting pro-grams (such as housing and parking), which have lost revenue due to remote operations. Importantly, though the state viewed the universities’ reserves as a budget tool for mitigating funding reductions this year, state law is silent on the level of reserves CSU and UC are to carry, the purposes of those reserves, and the interaction of those reserves with the state’s reserves. We encourage the Legislature to set clearer expectations regarding the state’s and the segments’ responsibilities for building reserves for future economic uncertainties. Developing a specific policy in this area would benefit from further analysis, as the reserve levels required to respond to any future situation would depend upon many factors (including the magnitude of a future economic downturn and the likelihood the state reduces funding for the universities).
Updated 12/10/20: This post has been updated to reflect new reserve levels at UC Santa Barbara.
November 10, 2020 - In contrast to the state, the California State University and the University of California typically do not face cash timing issues. The universities also tend to have relatively larger cash cushions, which have allowed them over time to invest more of their cash in long-term investment accounts and even assist the state in managing its cash challenges. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and recession, however, have changed these dynamics. While the state has a larger cash cushion compared to previous recessions, the pandemic has resulted in notable revenue declines at campuses, which have weakened their cash positions. To weather the reduction in revenues, the universities have implemented, or are considering, internal borrowing and transfers, shifting more money back into short-term investment accounts, and issuing bonds to help cover operating costs. These actions will help the universities meet the unprecedented challenges wrought by the pandemic, but they come with trade-offs and risks. Given these developments, monitoring the universities’ fiscal condition over the coming years will be especially important for the Legislature.
October 16, 2020 - This post summarizes the state’s 2020-21 spending package for higher education. It is part of our Spending Plan series, which contains posts focused on each major sector of the state budget. In this post, we cover spending for the California Community Colleges, California State University, University of California, and student financial aid. The EdBudget part of our website contains dozens of tables providing more detail about the 2020-21 education budget package.
May 21, 2020 - In this post, we (1) provide background on immigrant residents in California and state funding for immigrant legal services, including for students at the California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California; (2) provide an implementation update on each segment’s immigrant legal services program; (3) describe the Governor’s January and May proposals to provide additional funding for immigrant legal services at the segments; and (4) provide an associated budget alternative for the Legislature to consider within the context of the state’s budget downturn.
May 19, 2020 - Presented to: Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 On Education Finance Hon. Kevin McCarty, Chair
May 13, 2020 - This post describes the major research and development provisions of recent federal relief measures. It also highlights some key issues for the Legislature to consider relating to research and the state budget.
April 28, 2020 - This post describes the major higher education provisions of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. It also highlights some key issues for the Legislature to consider relating to its upcoming budget and oversight decisions.
March 13, 2020 - In this post, we analyze the Governor’s proposal to provide Hastings College of the Law with a $1.4 million ongoing, unrestricted General Fund increase. As it reviews this budget request, we encourage the Legislature to consider each aspect of the school’s plan to increase overall operational spending, reduce tuition discounting, grow enrollment, and eliminate its operating deficit.
March 11, 2020 - In this post, we analyze the Governor’s proposal to provide $17 million one-time General Fund to establish the Fresno Integrated K-16 Education Collaborative. The primary objective of the proposal is to create more education pathways in the greater Fresno region that help students transition from high school into college and the workforce. We raise several concerns with the proposal and recommend the Legislature consider other one-time spending options.
February 27, 2020 - In this brief, we provide an overview of the Governor’s proposed budget for the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). We then (1) assess the Governor’s Cal Grant cost estimates, (2) analyze the Governor’s proposal to fund a student loan outreach initiative, and (3) analyze the Governor’s state operations proposals for CSAC.
February 20, 2020 - In this report, we analyze the Governor’s higher education budget proposals. Similar to last year, these proposals are wide ranging—including large base increases; targeted increases for apprenticeship programs and food pantries; one-time initiatives relating to extended education programs, work-based learning, faculty diversity, and animal shelters; and many facility projects.
February 20, 2020 - In this brief, we analyze the Governor’s proposals relating to UC medical education. After providing an overview of medical education, we first analyze the Governor’s proposals to expand enrollment and build a new academic building at the UC Riverside School of Medicine. We then analyze the Governor’s proposal to expand enrollment and services at the UCSF Fresno branch campus.