Backup of David's Livejournal

California's Education Funding Over Time

California is expecting to fund over 50% more students than in 1980 while diverting funds from universities to prisons. That can't possibly work. A major adjustment of expectations is needed to address this issue which is only worsening.

California's population has more than doubled from 15 million in 1960 to 32 million in 2000. (It has increased by more than 50% from 1980 to 2008, data from Wolfram Alpha.)

(Graphic and data from

Undergraduates in 2010 have to pay over 4.5 times what 1980 students did, even in inflation-adjusted dollars. At the same time, the state government has cut its funding to less than a third of what it was, in inflation-adjusted dollars.

(Graphic and data from UC Pay)

To add insult to injury, California state prison funding has risen as a percentage of the state budget, while university funding has fallen.

(Graphic from Professor Bainbridge)

The article from which I got the above graphic suggests that the Governer is attempting to change the way higher education is funded, but is doing so in a way that will pit the very powerful California Correctional Peace Officers Association against it. (An anecdote: While searching swivel for statistical data on "California" and "Prison", an ad came up for a petition against the Governer's proposal to reduce prison costs.)

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 sjonsvenson on Apr 12th 2010 at 9:19 PM
Convertig schools in prisons ... or starting to teach at prisons (as additional puinishment) :thinking:

 (no name) on Apr 13th 2010 at 8:42 PM
Paul you see this? I am seriously starting to consider private schools. 30+ kids per class is pretty bad. Well written post Dave.

 dblume on Nov 15th 2010 at 5:14 PM
Here's a graphic at the national level that warrants deeper investigation. It claims as source information: NCES, Digest of Education Statistics: 2007, Table 171; National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Long Term Trends.