California Budget Idea -- Praised by Higher Ed -- Criticized

January 27, 2010

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pleased higher education leaders this month by proposing that the state's Constitution be amended to ensure that the state's two major public university systems receive no less than 10 percent of the state's operating funds each year, with the additional funds coming from cuts in spending on prisons. Now the plan is getting tough criticism from the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office. A new report from the office says that the plan "would unwisely constrain the state’s ability to allocate funding where it is most needed each year." The office doesn't come out against the idea of more higher education spending but notes that "the state already has the ability to shift funding among programs without this constitutional amendment." The University of California issued a statement denouncing the legislative analysis as "a business-as-usual approach," adding that "the road to economic recovery and a brighter future for California runs straight through its great public universities, and Californians can't stand by and let them wither for lack of adequate support from the state they serve."

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