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Report 97-8: Fiscal Profiles, 1997: The Seventh in a Series of Factbooks About the Financing of California Higher Education

Published by The California Postsecondary Education Commission

October 1997

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This report contains statistical information about California higher education from the 1965-66 fiscal year through 1997-98 year, along with related information on State financing in general and public elementary and secondary education in particular. The seventh in a series, it follows the format of the Commission's September 1996 Fiscal Profiles. 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. Secondly, this document provides an efficient and accurate response to the many questions on this subject that the Commission receives each year.

In a major expansion, there are eight new displays in this year's edition, including a half-dozen which provide additional information on overall California government finances. Several other displays have also been revised to provide more accurate and up-to-date information on various aspect of California postsecondary education finance.

Among the highlights of the information in this report: the 1997-98 budget provides substantial funding increases to the public postsecondary education systems. This year's budget is the third of a four-year funding compact between the State University and the University and the Governor to provide moderate, stable funding increases through 1999. For the third consecutive year, the budget contains funding to implement a policy decision to hold constant resident undergraduate and graduate student fees in all the public postsecondary systems. In addition, accompanying legislation signed into law actually reduces these fees by 5 percent in 1998-99 at the State University and the University of California, and reduces fees at community colleges from $13 to $12 per unit. The 1997-98 budget also provides a $10.2 million increase to the State's Cal Grant student financial aid program. The maximum annual Cal Grant award for students attending the State's independent colleges and universities will increase to approximately $8,184 and the number of Cal Grant awards are increased in the budget by 4,000.

The report shows that California higher education fares better in the 1997-98 budget than at any other time this decade. This years' $6.6 billion State General Fund commitment to postsecondary education is the direct result of the consistently higher-than-anticipated tax revenues being produced by the present economic recovery in California. The report notes that this current economic boom provides a window of opportunity for governmental planning and action in order to provides the State's 33 million residents with the high quality of publicly funded programs and services they have come to expect.

The Fiscal Policy and Analysis Committee of the Commission discussed this report at its meeting on August 25, 1997.

Related Topics: Budgeting and Financing of Higher Education

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