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Tuition At UC Campuses To Remain Steady Under Proposed Budget Revisions

Tuition at UC San Diego and other University of California campuses across the state would remain steady through the 2016-17 academic year under proposed budget revisions released Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The UC Board of Regents last year approved tuition hikes of 5 percent a year for the next five years, but that would be put on hold under the governor's latest budget proposal.

According to the University of California, if the budget revisions are approved by the state Legislature, UC's base tuition would remain at $12,192 through 2016-17, meaning six years without a tuition hike.

Beginning in 2017-18, the rate would rise "at least by the rate of inflation," according to the UC.

Janet Napolitano, president of the UC system, said she and the governor "were both focused on the future of California as we worked toward this agreement, which will enable the University of California to continue its role as the nation's preeminent public research university."

"Now the University of California will turn to our state legislators for their much-needed support of the proposed budget and for funding to enroll more California students, she said.

The UC Board of Regents is expected to discuss the budget revision at its May 21 meeting at UC San Francisco.

According to the UC and the governor's office, the budget revision will provide the university with a one-time infusion of $436 million over three years to help pay down the university's unfunded pension liability. It also provides $50 million for deferred maintenance and energy-efficiency projects.

"Another recession is on the way — we just don't know when," Brown said in releasing his budget revision. "That's why this budget locks billions into the Rainy Day Fund and pays down debt. At the same time, this budget spends more than ever on schools and creates a new tax credit to help California's working poor."

According to the governor's office, the budget revision also commits another $38 million in ongoing funding for the California State University system, for a total of $158 million in new funding.

CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White hailed the announcement, saying it "acknowledges the California State University's vital mission in serving the students of California."

"The May Revision supports existing CSU priorities by expanding student enrollments and programs that increase degree completion," White said. "The governor's proposal is an important step towards reinvestment in a well- educated California citizenry and knowledge-based economy.

"The CSU will redouble its efforts by working with state elected leaders to further prioritize public higher education funding and achieve a final budget that provides appropriate educational opportunity, quality and success to the students of California," he said.

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, called it "a positive sign that UC has apparently agreed to keep fees flat and implement pension reforms."

"However, in light of the Assembly's in-depth review of UC's budget, it is clear further actions are necessary to ensure UC returns to a model that puts California students first and that more effectively uses the resources the state provides," Atkins said.

"The Assembly will work to provide a higher level of funding for CSU, which has taken a more responsible approach to student fees, particularly funding that can help accelerate CSU's graduation rate."

She said the CSU system deserved funding that's at least equal that of UC.

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