Budget Boost for Education Lauded in S.D.

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Times Education Writer

Less than two years ago, Gov. George Deukmejian was labeled a “Scrooge” by one teachers union official, reflecting the view of many in the education business that the governor was a tightwad who cared little about the problem of California’s schools and colleges.

But now, after proposing another double digit increase in funding for the public schools and the state universities, Deukmejian was being hailed by most school officials Thursday as a man who has kept his promise to make education his highest budget priority.

Education expenditures account for 56% of Deukmejian’s budget proposal, up from 49.2% in 1982-83, the last budget prepared by former Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.


UC San Diego Chancellor Richard Atkinson praised the “superb budget” and said he was “very pleased with the budget for UCSD,” particularly $35 million for construction of an engineering building. Ground breaking for the building is expected to begin in the spring of 1986. Atkinson said his only disappointments resulted from the deletion of “minor capital projects, nothing significant.”

The $18.9 billion that state plans to spend for education in the 1985-86 school year represents an increase of more than $5 billion over the 1982-83 total.

“No matter how he got there, the facts are that (Deukmejian) has backed up his pledge to make education his top budget priority,” said state Supt. of Public Instruction Bill Honig.

Next year, the state will spend an estimated $3,065 per child in the public schools, an amount that should bring California up to the national average in school spending, Honig said.

Raises for Professors

Professors at the University of California will get an 8.8% salary raise, while those at the 19 California State University campuses will a 10.5 boost, enough to keep both groups at or ahead of comparable university systems in other states.

Meanwhile, fees for students will be held steady under the governor’s plan.

For the nine UC campuses, the budget includes everything from more money for scholarships and lab equipment to new or expanded facilities for engineering programs at UCLA, Irvine and San Diego and a law school addition at UCLA.


“As far as I can see, the University of California got everything it asked for,” said William Pickens, budget analyst for the state’s Commission on Postsecondary Education, and the Cal State system did nearly as well, he added.

Last and least in the eyes of its officials--were the community colleges, which, by the Governor’s estimate, will get 8.7% more next year. This nearly $140 million increase in the budget for the 107 community colleges includes $36 million in lottery money.

UCSD Chancellor Atkinson suggested the governor might have been particularly generous because of the decision by the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Inc. (MCC), a consortium of firms planning vast improvements in computer techniques, to locate in Austin, Texas rather than in San Diego.

Thomas Payzant, superintendent of the state’s second largest school district, San Diego Unified, said he did not yet know enough about exactly how Deukmejian’s budget would affect his district. But Payzant said, “I’m really pleased that he’s given prominence to education in the budget proposal.”

Still, some San Diego County education officials expressed disappointment that the governor deleted some items from their wish lists.

For example, a proposed $7 million project for a student services building at San Diego State University was absent from the budget. “We’re getting in touch with the (state university system) chancellor’s staff to see why this rather startling thing occurred,” SDSU president Thomas Day said Thursday.


Also not entirely pleased was Dan Grady, president of the board of San Diego Community College District. Grady said he had a “a mixed feeling” about the budget because community colleges “are not getting our proper share of funds for higher education.

“The UC is getting a 13.3% increase overall and we’re getting only 8.6% overall,” Grady said. “We think that is unfair.” Also, Grady said, “we were hoping to receive some money for the development of Miramar (College) and none of this was included” in the budget.

Deukmejian estimated that the new state lottery will yield $300 million in its first year, only about half of what was projected during the campaign to enact Proposition 37.

Money for Education Governor Deukmejian’s proposed budget would raise money for all education programs in California by 10.8%, from $17.0 billion to $18.8 billion. Education accounts for 56% of the total proposed $33.6-billion state budget. Education Money--General Fund and Local Revenues (In thousands of dollars)

Proposed % Increase 1983-84 1984-85 1985-86 from ‘84-85 Category Allocation Allocation Allocation to ‘85-86 Univ. of California $1,110,012 $1,475,147 $1,634,333 12.2% CalState 947,995 1,151,552 1,266,950 10.0% Comm. Colleges 1,416,689 1,614,475 1,754,490 8.7% K-12 10,983,000 12,376,400 13,693,600 10.6% Other Costs 114,712 494,986 609,492 23.1% TOTAL 14,572,408 17,044,470 18,878,855 10.8%