Earlier this month, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the 2010-11 budget, allocating $3 billion to University of California.
This is an increase of $199 million from the previous fiscal year, during which the state legislature cut 20 percent of funding from UC. Combined with a one-time federal stimulus package of $106 million that was approved in September, UC’s total funding has been increased $305 million from its 2009-2010 budget.
For the first time since 2007, the budget is accounting for UC enrollment growth. The new budget allocates $51.3 million to fund 5,121 of the 16,000 students for whom UC previously received no state support.
The budget also recommends that $353 million go directly to capital facility projects, such as building new classrooms and updating existing structures’ seismic safety measures.
Though UC is not yet fully funded, it was one of the few items, along with California State University and California Community Colleges, in this year’s budget to receive an increase in funds.
“We maintain education funding because a well-educated workforce is essential to California’s future prosperity,” said Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) in a public statement.
For CCC, however, $189 million of the promised budget allocations have been deferred for payment until next year. This puts the system under obligation to expand, without immediate access to the resources necessary to do so.
On par with UC, CSU also received a $199 million increase in allocations, compared to their state funding for the previous year.
UC president Mark Yudof said in a press release that the new budget indicates significant improvement from recent years.
“As a result,” he said, “UC will be able to begin restoring course offerings and essential student services.”
Reflective of California’s roughly $19 billion deficit, state funding for UC is still 10 percent below what it was during the 2007-2008 fiscal year.
MELISSA FREEMAN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.