A recent Field poll suggests that half of California voters (51 percent) are not aware of the deep cuts made to balance the state’s budget during the past three years. University of California (UC) data starkly illustrate the impact of these cuts. In 1990-91, state General Fund dollars paid more than 75 percent of the cost of a UC student’s education. Today, state support pays just over 40 percent. As state support declined, student fees increased, shifting the burden of educational costs to students and their families. In fact, UC student fees have more than tripled since 1990-91, after adjusting for inflation.
Californians face a choice between a balanced solution that includes tax extensions and an “all-cuts” budget. Additional cuts will move higher education further out of reach for an increasing number of young Californians.
— Jonathan Kaplan