Funding Higher Education
California and higher education
In 1960, the California Master Plan for Higher Education established a framework for a tuition-free, three tiered higher education system to educate all eligible high school graduates and make California grow as a leader in education. The Master Plan committed to providing access to quality education for young Californians without taking their family's financial status into account. Today, the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges are among the largest higher education institutions in the nation. Unfortunately, our state no longer makes funding higher education a priority. Since the passage of Prop. 13 in 1978, California has systematically disinvested in higher education.
In 1976, higher education accounted for 18% of the state budget. In 2016, it accounted for just 12%.
State funding per student at the UC fell from more than $23,000 to $13,650 over the same period.
- 66% of Californians believe that the cost of college keeps students from enrolling.
Today, California spends roughly as much on corrections as it does on funding higher education. Since 1980, California has built one new UC campus and 21 prisons. We need an urgent shift in priorities.
Investing in higher education is a great investment for our state
The promise of higher education for all provided the foundation for California's growth as an economic powerhouse without burdening students with debt. However, our failure to invest in students is hurting our state.
The UC’s economic impact alone is estimated to be $46.3 billion.
The CSU also generates $17 billion in economic activity.
California is on track to be short 1.1m skilled workers demanded by the economy by 2030.
Closing this skills gap will require the UC and CSU to award 730,000 bachelor’s degrees by 2030.
The biggest challenge for businesses in California is not regulations or taxes, it is finding qualified graduates to do the jobs the economy of the future needs.
Now more than ever, our budget must reflect our values. It is unacceptable for our state to prioritize prisons and corporate profits over our future. While large corporations continue to not pay their fair share of property taxes, our students and our state continue to pay the price through spiraling costs of tuition. It is time to reform Prop. 13.