March 14, 2016 - This brief is intended to assist the Legislature in reviewing the Governor’s proposal for zero-textbook-cost degrees. We provide background on open educational resources (OER), describe California efforts to encourage their use, and highlight zero–textbook–cost degree initiatives currently underway in other states. We then describe the Governor’s proposal and provide our associated assessment and recommendations.
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.
April 18, 2017 - Presented to: Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance
March 23, 2017 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 1 on Education
February 16, 2017 - In this report, we analyze the Governor's higher education budget proposals. Our many recommendations for consideration by the legislature include: providing base increases for the University of California (UC), California State University (CSU), and California Community Colleges (CCC); improving implementation of existing student support programs before expanding upon other initiatives being put forward by the administration and other segments; and asking the administration to provide certain additional information about the CCC guided pathways and CCC Chancellor’s Office staffing proposals during spring budget hearings.
April 5, 2016 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance
April 7, 2016 - Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 1 on Education
December 5, 2019 - Chapter 22 of 2015 (SB 81, Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review) created a Basic Skills Transformation Grant initiative to improve basic skills education at the community colleges. The legislation directed our office to submit an interim evaluation by December 1, 2019 and a final evaluation by December 1, 2021. This brief fulfills the interim reporting requirement.
February 26, 2016 - In this report, we provide background on three key areas of higher education in California: enrollment, tuition and financial aid, and institutional performance. We then analyze specific budget proposals for the University of California, California State University, California Community Colleges, Hastings College of the Law, and California Student Aid Commission, making corresponding recommendations for the Legislature's consideration.
February 15, 2018 - In this report, we first provide background on online education at the California Community Colleges (CCC), California State University (CSU), and University of California (UC). We then describe the Governor’s proposal to create a new intersegmental online program, assess that proposal, and make an associated recommendation.
May 6, 2019 - In this brief, we provide (1) background on the state’s education data systems and past efforts to connect them, (2) describe the Governor’s proposal to develop an integrated education data system, (3) assess the proposal, and (4) make associated recommendations.
February 15, 2018 - In this report, we first provide background on adult education and review the restructuring of adult education that the state embarked on in 2013-14. We then describe the Governor’s two 2018-19 adult education proposals. Next, we assess those proposals and examine various unresolved issues relating to the alignment of adult education policies among community colleges and adult schools. Lastly, we make recommendations relating to the Governor’s proposals and policy alignment.
October 25, 2010 -
While distance education is not—and is not intended to be—suitable for everyone (students as well as faculty), we find that it offers an important alternative means of providing instruction that can complement existing formats and expand options for the state’s students and segments. In order to take fuller advantage of this potential, we believe that the Legislature should guide a clearer statewide vision that specifies data which the segments should collect and report on distance–education students, and which clarifies expectations concerning intercampus collaborations and other partnerships. To that end, we make a number of recommendations.
February 12, 2013 - In the 2013-14 Governor's Budget Summary, the Governor expresses major concerns about higher education in California. Most notably, the Governor is concerned about escalating higher education costs, funding models that promote neither efficiency nor effectiveness, and generally poor student outcomes. To address these issues, the Governor lays out a multiyear budget plan. The main component of the plan is large annual unallocated base increases for all three higher education segments. The Governor loosely links these base increases with an expectation the segments improve their performance. Although we believe the Governor’s budget plan has drawn attention to some notable problems, we have serious concerns with several of his specific budget proposals. By providing the segments with large unallocated increases only vaguely connected to undefined performance expectations, the Governor cedes substantial state responsibilities to the segments and takes key higher education decisions out of the Legislature’s control. We recommend the Legislature take a different approach and allocate any new funding first for the state’s highest existing education priorities, including debt service, pension costs, and paying down community college deferrals. If more funding is provided, then we recommend the Legislature link the additional funding with explicit enrollment and performance expectations.
March 26, 2021 - Provides background on process to date toward creating an integrated education data system and other related data tools (collectively referred to as the "Cradle to Career" data system), describes the Governor's proposals to fund the development of specific components of this system, assesses these proposals, and makes associated recommendations.