Education

In-state tuition won't rise for most undergrads for 2 years

California residents would not pay more as University of California undergraduates for at least the next two years under an agreement between Gov. Jerry Brown and UC President Janet Napolitano.
California residents would not pay more as University of California undergraduates for at least the next two years under an agreement between Gov. Jerry Brown and UC President Janet Napolitano.
Jzimbabwe/Flickr

California residents would not pay more as University of California undergraduates for at least the next two years under an agreement between Gov. Jerry Brown and UC President Janet Napolitano.

The agreement was announced Thursday as part of Brown's revised budget, which also proposes an extra $436 million over three years to offset pension costs.

The 10-campus system could still raise tuition for non-residents and students earning professional degrees.

The updated budget Brown proposed maintains his January plan to increase the university's $3 billion base budget by $120 million, or 4 percent, and does not include any new money to expand in-state enrollment.

It proposes sending $436 million over three years to UC's pension fund, which is running a multi-billion-dollar deficit and has become a sore point between university and state leaders. The state stopped contributing to the fund in 1990, when the retiree benefit system had more money than it needed.

In return for the infusion, the university has promised to create new pension eligibility rules for future employees, according to a spokeswoman.

Napolitano said the Democratic governor backed down from his requirement to make any additional money contingent on UC not admitting more students from outside California and forgoing any tuition hikes.

"I feel very strongly that this agreement will enable the university not just to survive but to thrive over the next few years," Napolitano said in advance of the budget release.

Brown also said he would not veto an attempt by the Legislature to give the system more money to enroll more California students, as he did last year, she said.

The proposal is a first step toward resolving a political clash over the university's finances that arose in November when Napolitano proposed raising tuition for all UC students by up to 5 percent in each of the next five years unless the system received more money from Sacramento. The UC Board of Regents approved the plan over Brown's objections.

Amid the standoff, Brown and Napolitano formed an unusual subcommittee of just the two of them and their staffs. They had two face-to-face meetings, but most details of their agreement were negotiated by staff members, UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein said.

The agreement also includes: