12/09/2019

News

Testimony: Transfer Is Key to Closing the Workforce Skills Gap

California faces a shortage of highly educated workers. Specifically, economic projections to 2030 show that about two in five jobs will require at least a bachelor’s degree, while demographic projections suggest that only about one in three Californians will attain this level of education. This shortfall equates to 1.1 million workers. To close the gap, […]

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The Rising Cost of College: Student Fees

Students, parents, and lawmakers often express concern about tuition increases at California’s public universities. But tuition is not the only college cost that has been rising. Students also pay fees that cover many non-instructional costs, and between 2013 and 2016, student fees increased an average of 21% at both the UC and CSU systems, even […]

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California Needs More Math and Science Teachers

Although the number of math and science teachers has increased in the state, there are fewer of them than in other core subjects. As a result, the average class size in math and science at all levels is larger in California than in other states. For instance, the average class size for high school science […]

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Safety Net Plays Key Role in Reducing Poverty

How does this relate to the safety net? With stagnant earnings since 1980, safety net resources become an even more important factor in making ends meet as cost of living increases. Our estimates show that major safety net program benefits play a critical role in mitigating poverty. The California poverty rate would be 8 points […]

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High Housing Costs Hurt College Affordability

A majority of Californians say affordability is a problem in the state’s public colleges and universities, according to the PPIC Statewide Survey. In addition, three-quarters of residents in the survey agree that the price of college prevents students who are qualified and motivated from going to college. Not surprisingly, state leaders are exploring new strategies to help students and families better cope with college costs. Most current approaches, such as state and institutional financial aid, focus primarily on tuition relief. This makes sense, as tuition more than doubled at California universities from 2006 to 2012—and is on the rise again.

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The Unintended Consequences of Indoor Water Conservation

High rates of water conservation helped California manage limited supplies during the 2012–16 drought. But conservation can have a downside. New research shows that indoor water conservation can reduce the quality and quantity of wastewater, making it harder for local agencies to use treated wastewater to augment their water supply.

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California is Still Golden for College Graduates

Over the past 15 years, 1.5 million more people have left California than have moved here from other states, according to estimates from the California Department of Finance. Remarkably, even in the face of this outflow, California still experiences net gains of college graduates (those with at least a bachelor’s degree). Over the past five years, California ranks second among all states in net gains of college graduates from other states, even as it ranks first in net losses of less educated adults. 

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The Growth of Cal Grants

State law protects Cal Grant recipients from tuition increases at UC or CSU: when tuition rises, so do these students’ Cal Grants. Consequently, as tuition has increased and enrollment of low-income students has expanded, the program has grown rapidly. Next fall, tuition is scheduled to increase by $280 per year at UC and by $270 per year at CSU. In addition, UC, which has enrolled 7,400 new undergraduates in each of the last two years, plans to enroll an additional 2,500 in the fall of 2017‒18, the largest three-year increase in seventy years. CSU has added around 50,000 additional students over the past five years. The expansion of Cal Grants has drawn the attention of the governor. He noted in his May budget revision that “rising Cal Grant costs from tuition hikes will also limit the state’s ability to increase General Fund support in the future.”

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California Farmers Face Labor Drought

This year’s rains brought a welcome respite to California’s farmers, who had grappled with surface water supply shortages for the previous four years. But now farmers are increasingly worried about the availability of another crucial element to their farms’ productivity―farm labor. The connection between farm labor and immigration patterns was among the topics covered in a recent conference at UC Davis.

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California’s Future

This multi-topic publication highlights the state’s most pressing long-term policy challenges in several key areas.

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Testimony: California’s Future Need for Bachelor’s Degrees

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) projects that between now and 2030 California will fall 1.1 million bachelor’s degrees short of workforce demand. Closing this gap will require substantial improvements in access to four-year colleges, transfer rates from community colleges, and completion rates among college students.

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Ruling Muddies Waters on Clean Water Act

The court ruled that the state must reimburse Los Angeles and 83 other Southern California cities for certain costs of complying with a stormwater permit issued by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. . . The Supreme Court held that the contested stormwater permit conditions were state policy choices of how to implement the Clean Water Act, but were not themselves federal mandates. Therefore, the state must pay for the costs of their implementation.

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Higher Education in California

Higher Education in California

Research & Studies
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Californians’ Views on Taxes

In our March PPIC Statewide Survey, most Californians see the system as fair. But when asked about their personal state and local tax burden, a majority of residents (56%) said they pay more than they should. A little over one-third of Californians (37%) said they pay the right amount in state and local taxes, while only 4% said they pay less than they should.

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California’s Future

California is pursuing major reforms on many fronts, including health care, corrections, and K–12 education. But the state faces a wide array of challenges, from housing costs, to climate change and water management, to higher education funding. Policymakers—including California’s voters—need more and better information about the future consequences of policy choices made today. This multi-topic publication highlights the state’s most pressing long-term policy challenges in several key areas.

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