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Report 08-19: Fiscal Profiles, 2008

Published by The California Postsecondary Education Commission

December 2008

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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 2008–09. In addition, there is information on California public elementary and secondary education financing as well as State government in general. The Commission compiles, analyzes, and disseminates this information to provide policymakers 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 is the 16th in the series dating back to June 1989. Because of publication timelines, and the delay of the final 2008–09 budget, some data shown for the current fiscal year are estimates.

As of November 2008, State revenues have declined substantially from 2008-09 budget information used in this report. The Governor and Legislature are deliberating what actions will be necessary to close a 2008–09 and 2009–10 State budget gap estimated as potentially $25 billion. Data tables in future iterations of Fiscal Profiles may contain substantial changes from what is shown in this publication.

In the adopted version of the budget, total State General Fund spending is $103 billion in 2008–09, roughly the same level as in 2007–08. This budget attempts to close a $15.2 billion deficit with $9 billion in spending reductions and $6 billion in new revenues. It assumes voter approval of a lottery leasing proposal that will generate $10 billion in 2009–10 and 2010–11, in a special election expected to be held some time in 2009. The budget also includes permanent tax breaks for large businesses that are expected to reduce future state revenues by billions of dollars.

The General Fund budget for higher education is $12.1 billion, 2.5% ($294 million) above last year’s level. The budget provides no enrollment growth funding, leaving University of California and California State University with over-enrollments. UC is projected to be 4,000 FTE students overenrolled and CSU 8,000 FTE students. The budget also incorporates resident student fee increases of 10% at CSU and 7.4% at UC.

Under the state budget adopted in September, the current fiscal year could have ended with an estimated deficit of $11.5 billion, depending upon the special election and other factors making state finances far from stable. Since September, the state and national economies have substantially deteriorated and state revenues have declined even more than anticipated just three months earlier. As of early December, the budget deficit is estimated at more than $28 billion and the legislature and Governor are still grappling with ways to address it.

Related Topics: Budgeting and Financing of Higher Education

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