December 18, 2019 - California operates two public university systems: (1) the University of California (UC), consisting of 10 campuses, and (2) the California State University (CSU), consisting of 23 campuses. The Legislature faces many pressures to increase funding for UC and CSU in 2020‑21. This report examines these university cost pressures, assesses the state’s capacity to fund some of them, and identifies options for expanding budget capacity to fund additional cost pressures.
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.
February 22, 2021 - This report analyzes the Governor's proposal to provide the Hastings College of the Law a General Fund base increase in 2021-22.
February 15, 2018 -
In this report, we analyze the Governor’s higher education budget proposals. We begin by providing an overview of higher education in California. In the next four sections, we analyze the Governor’s budget proposals for the three public higher education segments and the California Student Aid Commission. In each of these sections, we provide relevant background, describe and assess the proposals, and make associated recommendations. The final section of the report consists of a summary of our recommendations.
In addition to this report, we have three other higher education budget briefs that analyze the Governor’s proposals for adult education, Hastings College of the Law, and the California Education Learning Lab.
April 25, 2019 - The Governor proposes to provide the University of California (UC) with ongoing funding to address student food and housing insecurity. UC indicates it would use the proposed funds either to augment student financial aid or support specific food and housing initiatives. In this brief, we provide background, then describe the Governor’s proposal. Next, we offer issues to consider and provide associated recommendations.
February 21, 2019 - In this report, we analyze the Governor's higher education budget proposals.
March 9, 2021 - This post analyzes four of the Governor’s budget proposals for the California State University (CSU). Specifically, the post covers proposals relating to CSU Stanislaus’s off-campus center in Stockton, the Computing Talent Initiative based at CSU Monterey Bay, CSU’s ability to transfer funds among its accounts, and summer-term student financial aid.
February 1, 2021 - This report analyzes the Governor’s major budget proposals for the universities, covering base funding, enrollment, students’ basic needs, faculty professional development, and deferred maintenance.
February 8, 2021 - This report analyzes the Governor’s major budget proposals for the California Student Aid Commission, including proposals to expand the Cal Grant program and increase financial aid application rates.
October 17, 2019 - Each year, our office publishes California Spending Plan, which summarizes the annual state budget. In July, we published a preliminary version of the report. This, the final version, provides an overview of the 2019‑20 Budget Act, then highlights major features of the budget approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. In addition to this publication, we have released a series of issue‑specific, online posts that give more detail on the major actions in the budget package.
Correction (10/29/19): Figure 4 total.
February 16, 2021 - This report analyzes the Governor’s major budget proposals for the community colleges, covering base apportionments, enrollment, students’ basic needs, online tools, apprenticeships and work-based learning, instructional materials, and faculty professional development.
December 20, 2017 - The Supplemental Report of the 2017-18 Budget Act required our office to examine how much existing funding and support is provided to these students and identify options for increasing that funding and support. This report fulfills this requirement.
May 9, 2019 - To obtain a license to practice medicine, California law requires all medical school graduates to complete three years of postgraduate training. Most physician‑trainees fulfill this requirement by completing a residency program. The state currently funds two initiatives to support residency programs for primary care physicians. The first initiative is named after its legislative authors, Song‑Brown, and is administered by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD). The second initiative is authorized by Proposition 56 and is administered by the University of California (UC). The Governor proposes making certain limited‑term funding for these initiatives ongoing. In this brief, we provide background on residency programs, describe the Governor’s two associated budget proposals, assess those proposals, and make associated recommendations.
March 5, 2021 - In this post, we focus on university capital outlay projects. We first provide background on university capital financing and project review. We then review capital outlay proposals for the California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC). Next, we raise some concerns with the previously authorized UC Merced medical school project and make an associated recommendation. We end the post by offering several other recommendations intended to strengthen legislative oversight of university projects.
April 24, 2019 - In this brief, we provide background on the Hastings College of the Law, then describe the Governor’s proposed budget for the law school and the school’s proposed spending plan. Next, we provide our assessment of Hastings’ budget and offer associated recommendations.
January 14, 2019 - This report presents our office’s initial assessment of the Governor’s Budget. The budget’s position continues to be positive. With $20.6 billion in discretionary resources available, the Governor’s budget proposal reflects a budget situation that is even better than the one our office estimated in the November Fiscal Outlook. The Governor’s Budget allocates nearly half of these discretionary resources to repaying state liabilities. Then, the Governor allocates $5.1 billion to one-time programmatic spending, $3 billion to reserves, and $2.7 billion to ongoing spending. Although the Governor’s allocation to discretionary reserves represents a smaller share of resources than recent budgets, the Governor’s decision to use a significant share of resources to pay down state debts is prudent. The Governor’s ongoing spending proposal is roughly in line with our November estimate of the ongoing capacity of the budget under an economic growth scenario. This was just one scenario, however. Recent financial market volatility indicates revenues could be somewhat lower than either we or the administration estimated.
December 2, 2009 -
The state’s public higher education segments periodically create new degree programs and schools, and each segment has internal procedures for reviewing and authorizing them. State law delegates the state’s oversight of proposals to the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) but their role is only advisory and limited to certain proposals. In 2007 CPEC determined that a new law school proposed for University of California (UC) Irvine was unnecessary and duplicative. The opening of the new law school this fall despite CPEC’s objections calls into question the ability of the state’s approval process to prevent unnecessary or nonpriority programs and schools. In this report, we examine a number of new programs and schools that have been approved in the last few years to determine the efficacy of the state’s approval process. We conclude that there are several structural changes that are needed to improve the approval process including (a) measuring supply and demand in major fields, (b) identifying the extent to which proposals fit with the state's priorities and resources, and (c) increasing oversight from the Legislature.
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