May 22, 2007

California to become first state to spend more on jails than higher education

Posted in Student Loan News at 9:23 AM by Joe From Boston


Well, here’s a distinction that California did not want! Read the excerpt below or the whole article from the San Francisco Chronicle here.

Prisons’ budget to trump colleges’

No other big state spends as much to incarcerate compared with higher education funding
As the costs for fixing the state’s troubled corrections system rocket higher, California is headed for a dubious milestone — for the first time the state will spend more on incarcerating inmates than on educating students in its public universities.

Based on current spending trends, California’s prison budget will overtake spending on the state’s universities in five years. No other big state in the country spends close to as much on its prisons compared with universities.

But California has all but guaranteed that prisons will eat up an increasingly large share of taxpayer money because of chronic failures in a system that the state is now planning to expand.

Under a new state law, California will spend $7.4 billion to build 40,000 new prison beds, and that is over and above the current annual operating budget of more than $10 billion. Interest payments alone on the billions of dollars of bonds that will be sold to finance the new construction will amount to $330 million a year by 2011 — all money that will not be available for higher education or other state priorities…

According to the May revisions of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget, the state will spend $10 billion on prisons in fiscal 2007-08, a 9 percent increase from last year.

Higher education spending will come to $12 billion, a nearly 6 percent increase. Moving forward, the legislative analyst says, spending on higher education probably will grow around 5 percent a year, while prisons spending will grow by at least 9 percent annually.

Steve Boilard, a legislative analyst, said that actual spending on the state university systems is already at about parity with prisons spending. The budgets, he said, for the University of California, the California State University and the community colleges come to $10.5 billion in fiscal 2007-2008. The rest of the higher education budget includes financial aid for student and other noninstructional programs.

Read the rest of the article here.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] cambodiamirror wrote an interesting post today.Have a look for your self, Here’s an excerpt, read the full story at the blogThe budgets, he said, for the University of California, the California State University and the community colleges come to $10.5 billion in fiscal 2007-2008. The rest of the higher education budget includes financial aid for student and … […]


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