Prospects for State General Fund Revenues for Higher Education


California’s General Fund revenue and expenditure trend lines create an uncertain trajectory that is unlikely to both meet expected costs and provide for significant increase in students for the state’s public university systems.

This paper by Mark Hill, California State Department of Finance (retired), reviews past and possible future trends affecting General Fund availability for public higher education in California.

Although General Fund has declined as a share of institutional revenues, it remains, along with tuition revenue,  the largest source of discretionary revenue to the CSU and UC systems. Understanding the dynamics influencing General Fund availability will be key to long-term fiscal planning for these institutions, with strong implications for decisions about tuitions, levels of student access, changes in spending, and other related issues.

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