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Capitol Roundup: UC Tuition, City Pensions

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
UC's Yudof Vows to "Keep Tuition Down," Examine Online Courses
Brown was as blunt as ever as he sat through six-and-a-half hours of meetings Wednesday: 
Brown: "Let's get real.  I'm proposing 5% more in your budget.  You're proposing 11.6%.  How do you make up the gap?"
Not by tuition increases, he's warned - not if the UC wants to keep getting more money from the state.  Instead, he wants the system to become more efficient and offer online courses.
UC President Mark Yudof is promising to meet the governor's challenges: 
Yudof: "We need to increase access; lower our marginal cost - that is, it costs less money per degree per course, or however you want to measure it; live within our means - and our means are increasingly limited; keep tuition down; and to live with the realities of a higher student/faculty ratio."
But, Yudof says, it won't be easy - given the nearly $1 billion of state budget cuts already in place. 
Pew Study: LA, SF Pensions in Better Shape than SD, SJ
A new study from the Pew Center on the States shows 60 major U.S. cities are behind on their pension and retiree health care obligations by more than 200 billion dollars combined.
Pew researcher David Draine says the four California cities he looked at are a "mixed bag." 
Draine: "Los Angeles is one of the only two cities we looked at that have been doing well in both pensions and retiree health benefits, or relatively well.  San Francisco - among the California cities - is also one of the top performers, but they've fallen short in their retiree health care promises.  And then San Diego and San Jose face major funding gaps, but with recent reforms, they may have the ability to begin to close those gaps over time."
Draine also says cities that continued to make pension contributions during the recession tend to have retirement funds in stronger financial shape than cities that didn't.
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