UC System to Receive More Funding from State

    For the first time since taking office, the governor has proposed a budget that reflects a surplus instead of a gap or deficit.

    The $97.7 billion budget proposal, which the governor unveiled Jan. 10, allots for $250 million in additional funding for each the UC and California State University systems.

    Brown’s announcement came several days before the UC Board of Regents is set to meet on UC San Francisco’s campus. Barring any increase in state funding, the Regents had been expected to discuss modest increases to student fees.

    In November, California voters passed the Brown-backed Proposition 30, which, through a set of new taxes, effectively blocked hundreds of millions in cuts to both the University of California and CSU system. Tuition fees at UC campuses were set to raise $2,400 if Proposition 30 had failed and modest increases for the 2013–2014 academic year were expected even with Proposition 30’s passage.

    The 2012¬–2013 tuition rate marked the first time in almost a decade where tuition levels had remained constant for consecutive years. It is still unclear the effect that the additional $250 million will have on the UC budget.

    UC Vice President of Budget and Capital Resources Patrick Lenz said that the new funds should be able to help the system return to a more stable budget plan after years of funding reductions and budget cuts.

    “After absorbing nearly a billion dollars in state funding cuts during the past five years, we see his budget proposal as a very positive step forward in a process that will unfold over the next several months,” Lenz said in a statement released Jan. 10. Lenz also said that the UC system has been able to adjust and prioritize making tuition affordable for lower-income students despite the years of cuts.

    “The university has continued to offer a seat to all eligible students wishing to attend [a University of California] and has ensured access for students from low-[income] and moderate-income families,” Lenz said in the statement. “As a result, nearly half of all resident UC undergraduate students pay no tuition.”

    UC Student Association President and UCSD undergraduate student Raquel Morales applauded the Governor’s proposed budget, but said that the new funding will not end all fiscal woes for UC students.

    “Students are pleased that the Governor has proposed increased funding for higher education,” Morales said in a UCSA statement on Thursday. “Yet even with this funding, we are still a long way from where we need to be, and the prospect of annual tuition increases and declining access and quality remains.”

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