So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Snapshot: CSU has lost $1 billion in state funding in 4 years; tuition doubled

California Budget

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Gov. Jerry Brown discusses his 2012 proposed budget plan. The budget has dropped by about $1 billion since 2007 while undergraduate tuition has nearly doubled.

The California State University system has been hit with about $1 billion in state funding cuts since 2007-8. At that time, state funding accounted for about 67 percent of the overall $4.5 billion operating budget, said CSU spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp. Fast forward to 2011-12, and the state provides about 50 percent of the nearly $4 billion budget.

The system has tried to compensate for that loss by nearly doubling tuition, bringing it up from the $2,772 per year for a full-time undergraduate in 2007-8 to $5,472 in 2011-12. Along with such tuition increases the system cut programs and instituted other cost-saving measures such as leaving positions unfilled, Uhlenkamp said. That has allowed it to recoop about half, or $500 million of those cuts, he said.

Tuition is set to go up again for the 2012-13 school year. It will cost undergraduate students $5,970 per year, Uhlenkamp said. The system's officials also announced last month it will shut the door on nearly all of its spring 2013 applicants because of drastic cuts to state funding.


'Nobody is going to the CSU to be a president to get rich,' spokesman says

Teachers Rally To Highlight Proposed Budget Cuts

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Teachers participate in an education budget cut rally and protest at Pershing Square on May 13, 2011 in downtown Los Angeles, California.

California State University spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp gave a bit of background on the executive compensation issue this afternoon after California's Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson sent his fellow Board of Trustees members a letter today calling for a freeze on more raises for incoming campus presidents.

Torlakson, who is also a trustee, was not at the January meeting in which the trustees established a policy to limit the amount of pay for presidents and established an acceptable range. Torlakson was also absent at last month's meeting where the board voted to approve the maximum salary increase for incoming presidents at CSU's Fullerton and East Bay campuses.

This was at the same meeting where university officials presented trustees with their plan, which will shut the door on nearly all of its spring 2013 applicants in order to offset drastic cuts to state funding.


State Superintendent calls for 'immediate freeze' on raises for CSU executives

Shattered Glass CU

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

Protesters smashed one of the large glass doors leading into the CSU Board of Trustees' headquarters on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011.

In a strongly-worded letter to the California State University Board of Trustees today, the state's Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, derided recent pay raises for two incoming campus presidents and called for a freeze on executive compensation when hiring for five other open campus president positions.

Last month, the CSU Board of Trustees approved the maximum allowable pay increases for incoming presidents at the system's Fullerton and East Bay campuses. The system will also be conducting president searches for at least five campuses including San Bernardino, California Maritime, San Francisco, Stanislaus and Monterey Bay.

"As I understand it, the executive compensation policy adopted recently by this board states that incoming campus presidents are to receive no more than a 10 percent increase above the pay level of the predecessor," Torlakson wrote in his letter. "This policy was designed to create a ceiling for compensation during a time of crisis. Instead, it appears that it is also being used as a floor."


California State University officials paint grim budget picture

Mercer 19378

Neon Tommy/Flickr (cc by-sa)

CSU students protest cuts.

The California State University's Board of Trustees received a grim budget update today from university officials, who informed them it would be necessary to shut down the majority of spring 2013 enrollment save for certain transfer students at eight of its 23 campuses.

After a $750 million cut last year, the system is warily eyeing the possibility of another $200 million cut in 2012. Whether that happens depends on if Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative is approved by voters in November. If it is not approved, the cut comes down, and the system's funding is pushed back to its 1996 level, despite serving an additional 90,000 students today, according to a university release.

"We are not simply facing a 200 million dollar trigger cut possibility, starting from a point of stability," said Robert Turnage, CSU assistant vice chancellor for budget, in a presentation to the trustees meeting in Long Beach today. "We are facing it starting from a situation where we have already lost so much capacity that we are stressed severely, and essentially, what is going on is campuses are limping through this fiscal year."


CSU Board of Trustees gets budget and enrollment update

The California State University Board of Trustees is meeting today in Long Beach and is receiving an update on the state budget and its impact on the 23-campus system's own budget from university officials.

On Monday, the system's officials said it will be shutting down the majority of its spring 2013 admissions because of massive cuts to state funding. If the governor's tax initiative is not approved by voters in November the system may have to absorb another $200 million cut, and will look at slashing fall 2013 admissions by up to 25,000 students.

Listen to the update live here.

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).