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Report 03-8: Fiscal Profiles, 2002

Published by The California Postsecondary Education Commission

April 2003

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This report contains and analyzes statistical information about the financing of California postsecondary education from the 1965-66 fiscal year through 2002-03. In addition, there is information on California public elementary and secondary education financing as well as State government in general. The Commission compiles, disseminates and analyzes this information to provide policy makers with comprehensive and comparable financial data that can be used in comparative analysis of higher education finance issues. This document also provides an efficient and accurate response to the many questions that the Commission receives each year. This report, the twelfth in the series, retains the formatting and structure of prior years.

Among major highlights, the report shows that the 2002-03 State Budget:

  • Total State General Fund spending in California is almost $77 billion in 2002-03. Total State government-authorized spending (State Spending Plan) is estimated to increase by $9 billion in the current year, or 4.2 percent.
  • State General Funds plus Local Property Tax revenues for state’s three public higher education systems decreases by more than $100 million below last year (1 percent).
  • With the State facing a $26 - $34 billion budget deficit the Governor and Legislature have made $7 billion in mid-year spending cuts to the 2002-03 budget. For higher education, State General Fund and local funds reductions for totaled approximately $435 million. Increases in State University and University of California student fees are preliminarily estimated to generate more than $110 million to partially offset this shortfall.
The report documents that the 2002-03 budget for the State of California represents the first fully “recession-era” budget in nine years. This budget, both as adopted and as later amended, seeks to make substantial reductions in the levels of government spending. Not only does it force spending below what would occur with normal program expansion, it also cuts spending to lower levels than would fund anticipated caseload growth in service populations.

The report notes that California’s ongoing economic recession could have a severe impact on governmental programs and services at all levels, with many State-funded programs in a situation where expectations for increased caseloads is in conflict with limited public resources.

The report concludes that California’s higher education systems face many challenges over the next several years, chief among them being increasing enrollment pressures. The Postsecondary Education Commission recently updated is 1999 enrollment projections and now estimates that nearly 442,000 new students will enroll in the community colleges, State University, and University of California between 2002 and 2010.

Related Topics: Budgeting and Financing of Higher Education

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