Elementary and Secondary Education
- What entities are responsible for California's public schools?
- What is the function of the superintendent of public instruction?
- What is the function of the state Board of Education?
- What is the function of the Department of Education?
- Is child care available?
- What special education services are available?
- Are there residential schools available for special education students? Are there diagnostic centers available for special education students?
- What is the function of the county offices of education?
- What is the function of the county superintendent of schools?
- How are local school districts organized?
- How are school board members elected?
- What is the function of the school board?
- How is the superintendent selected?
- What credentials are required for teachers?
- When can a teacher be tenured? What are grounds for teacher dismissal?
- How are teachers acknowledged for outstanding work? What is the Mentor Teacher program?
- How are students tested?
- What is the purpose of the California student assessment system?
- How many school days are included in a typical School Calendar? How many days must school be in session? How many hours is the average school day?
- What months does a school operate?
- What are curriculum frameworks? What guidelines are used to develop educational programs?
- How are textbooks chosen? What entity reviews and adopts textbooks?
- What entity implements and administers educational programs? What is the Economic Impact Aid program? What is the School Improvement program?
- What special help in reading is available for children? What is the function of the Miller-Unruh reading program? What is the function of the Gifted and Talented program? Are there special services available for migrant children?
- What programs are offered in vocational education?
- What is the emphasis of adult education?
- How are school finances determined?
- Are there federal grants for schools? What is impact aid? Does the California State Lottery allocate sales to public education?
- Is there a minimum level of state funding for schools?
- What are the methods of funding public schools? Is there a minimum funding guarantee?
- What was the ruling in Serrano v. Priest?
- What is the mechanism for distributing public funds to schools?
- What are revenue limits?
- What is basic aid?
Post Secondary Education
- What type of education is included in post secondary education?
- What is the function of the California Post Secondary Education Commission?
- Who sits on the California Post Secondary Education Commission?
- What is the function of the Student Aid Commission?
- What did the Master Plan for Higher Education accomplish?
- What is the pool of students drawn from for UC, CSU and community colleges?
- Who is eligible for admission to community colleges?
- What programs are offered in the community college system?
- Who is in charge of community college districts?
- What is the function of the statewide board of governors? What is the function of a chancellor?
- How was the California State University system formed?
- Who is eligible for admission to the California State University system?
- What type of education is offered in the California State University system?
- Who makes up the board of trustees for the California State University system? Who appoints the chancellor for the California State University system? Who appoints the presidents for the California State University system?
- Where are University of California campuses located?
- Where are California State University campuses located?
- How extensive is the University of California?
- Who is eligible for admission to the University of California?
- What is the role of the University of California?
- What research is done at the University of California?
- What specialized instruction is available at the University of California?
- What is the function of the Board of Regents? Who sits on the Board of Regents? How is the Board of Regents chosen?
- Who appoints the president, chancellors and deans of a university?
- What other post secondary institutions are in California?
- How is post secondary education financed?
- What is the tuition in public post secondary schools?
- Where does the funding come from for post secondary schools?
- How are community colleges funded?
- How is the California State University system funded?
- How is the University of California system funded?
- How are capital improvements financed?
- What is the purpose of Capital Outlay Funds?
- Are capital expenditures listed in the state budget?
- What are capital improvements used for?
- What is the function of the State Library? What materials are available from the State Library? May the public use the State Library?
- What special services are available from the State Library?
- What services does the State Library provide to local libraries?
- What is the purpose of the Sutro Library?
Under the U.S. Constitution public education is a responsibility reserved to the states. Thus the nation has 50 state school systems differing widely in organization, financial resources, and effectiveness. In recent years California schools have stressed higher standards in basic academic subjects, a longer school day and year, and the recruitment and retention of superior teachers.
The public school system in California is the largest in the nation serving more than 5.1 million students in 1991-92. The compulsory school age is six to 16 years, and continuation education is compulsory until 18 or the completion of high school. Adult education programs, community colleges, the California State University, and the University of California offer opportunities for lifelong learning.
Elementary and Secondary Education
California's public schools are the shared responsibility of state government and local school districts. The legislature requires the formation of local districts and grants certain powers to them. State laws require specific programs and courses of study and provide a growing percentage of school funding.
The superintendent of public instruction, a constitutional officer elected without party affiliation to a four-year term, directs the Department of Education. The superintendent is the chief administrative officer of the public school system, and provides leadership in developing and implementing strategies to improve education in the state's public schools. The superintendent also serves as an ex-officio member of the governing boards of the University of California and the California State University.
The state Board of Education is the policy-making body for public elementary and secondary education. The board has responsibility for studying the educational needs of California and for adopting plans for the improvement of the school system from kindergarten through grade 12. While the board develops general policy, both the legislature and local school boards exert strong influence on the direction of educational policies and programs.
The board consists of ten members who are appointed by the governor for four-year terms and serve without salary. In addition, one student is appointed for a one-year term. The superintendent of public instruction serves as secretary and executive officer of the board.
The Department of Education develops and administers programs which are implemented by local school districts. Although many of these programs are incorporated into regular classroom instruction, others require special facilities and considerable supervision at the state level.
The department administers a variety of child care and development programs which provide a full or part-day comprehensive program for young children. These subsidized services are provided to low-income families while parents are going to school, participating in training programs, working or seeking employment.
The department also takes an active role in the field of special education. Because students with exceptional needs require different and specialized educational services, various learning experiences are provided without charge to handicapped students from ages three to 21. Students are placed on the basis of their individual instructional needs rather than on the nature of their handicaps. Supplements such as tutoring can be added to a pupil's regular program, or alternative programs such as full-time special classes or sheltered workshops can be prescribed. Whenever possible, students are integrated into regular classrooms. Under the Master Plan for Special Education, these services are provided by regional organizations, which adopt special education plans for all school districts within the region.
The Department of Education operates three residential schools and three diagnostic centers to serve the unique needs of special education students. The California School for the Blind in Fremont, and the California Schools for the Deaf in Riverside and Fremont provide comprehensive education and related services to the state's visually and aurally impaired students. The Diagnostic Centers, located in San Francisco, Fresno, and Los Angeles, provide assessment services for special education students throughout California. Additionally, the Centers provide support services to local education agencies, service organizations, and other education-related groups.
County offices of education operate their own educational programs such as schools, juvenile halls, regional occupation centers providing job-related training, special education classes and schools for handicapped students, and environmental education schools. In addition, county offices provide administrative and supportive services to small local school districts.
The county superintendent of schools is the chief executive officer of a county office of education. The superintendent also serves as secretary of the county board of education, which is the policy-making body for the county office and serves as the governing board for all educational programs operated at the county level. The constitution provides for a superintendent of schools in each county; voters determine whether the superintendent is elected or appointed.
School districts are organized to provide education in several different grade spans, although the Legislature has encouraged the formation of unified school districts, those serving kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12). Other typical districts are elementary districts with grades K-6 or K-8 and high school districts. In 1992, there were 1,009 school districts in California.
All districts provide for an elected governing board of three to seven members serving four-year terms. Vacancies are filled by special election, although a city charter may provide for appointment. Many school board members serve without pay but are reimbursed for expenses. Some districts have chosen to set salaries for board members.
The school board sets local educational policies within the limits of state law and determines the curriculum. It adopts a budget and authorizes operating and capital expenditures. The school board is responsible for meeting federal desegregation guidelines in its schools by reassigning students, establishing management schools, or other means. In 1989-90, 13 school districts in California were implementing court-ordered desegregation plans.
The school board selects the superintendent, a professional educator who serves as administrative officer of the school district. The superintendent of a city or unified school district is hired on a four-year contract; other districts may contract for one to four years.
California's public schools employ more than 221,000 teachers. Licenses or credentials are required for teachers in grades K-12 and are issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, an independent body. In addition to this primary responsibility, the commission approves teacher preparation programs in colleges and universities and has the authority to revoke credentials.
Since 1983, prospective teachers have been required to pass minimum competency tests in verbal, mathematics, and writing skills. Minimum salaries for teachers are set by state law. State law also sets a maximum ratio of administrators to teachers. Districts are penalized for violations of these provisions by loss of state funds. Teachers are given tenure (permanent status) after two consecutive years of satisfactory service and selection for employment for the third year. A probationary teacher may be dismissed only for cause. A permanent teacher may be dismissed only on specific charges of incompetency, immoral or unprofessional conduct, or conviction of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude. After being notified of charges a teacher may request a hearing before the Commission on Professional Competence. If dismissal is ordered, the teacher may appeal to the courts.
The Mentor Teacher program, begun in 1983, is designed to acknowledge and reward outstanding classroom teachers. Nominees are chosen by panels composed mostly of teachers; the school board makes the final selections. Mentor teachers receive an additional annual stipend and in return support other staff members, especially new teachers, and help develop curriculum.
Students are given minimum competency tests in reading writing, and mathematics once in grades four through six, once in grades seven through nine, and twice in grades ten through twelve. Students must pass both district established proficiency levels and specific course requirements. Counseling and remedial instruction must be provided for those who fail. No student is permitted to graduate from high school who has not met locally determined levels of competency.
In addition to competency testing, all students in grades four, five, eight, and ten will be assessed as part of the new California student assessment system. In addition, six Golden State Examinations -- in first-year algebra, geometry, U.S. history, economics, chemistry, and biology -- will be available on a voluntary basis to students enrolled in these subjects.
The purpose of the California student assessment system is to provide information to students, schools, districts, and the public about their educational progress in relation to performance expectations. With this information, students will know how they can achieve at higher levels and teachers can provide assistance most helpful to students.
Schools must be in session at least 175 days a year. Districts that operate at least 180 days per year receive additional incentive funding from the state, as do districts that have increased the length of the school day. Beginning in 1985, the average school day to qualify for incentive funding was increased in stages to at least 360 minutes in class for high schools, 300 minutes for fourth through eighth grades, 280 minutes for first though third grades, and 200 minutes for kindergarten.
Most schools operate on a September through early June calendar, but some operate year round with students attending on a rotating basis. (Year-round schools may have as few as 163 instructional days for each track, so long as they lengthen their days to provide at least the same total annual minutes of instruction as a regular 180-day-year school.) Two separate, free summer school programs are directed toward instruction in the core curriculum for all grades and basic skills remediation for low-achieving pupils in grades seven through twelve.
The suggested curriculum for California's schools (K-12) is described in curriculum frameworks. Curriculum frameworks describe current research in a subject area, the current state of curriculum and instruction, textbooks, testing, and teacher training. The frameworks represent a consensus among teachers, curriculum specialists, administrators, and faculty from colleges and universities on education in each subject area. Frameworks are based on Education Code Section 510002 which states that there is a need for a common state curriculum, but because of economic, geographic, physical, political, and social diversity in California, there is also a need to develop educational programs at the local level, with the guidance of competent and experienced educators and citizens. The frameworks are intended to be guidelines for districts to use in developing educational programs to meet the needs and interests of their students. Curriculum frameworks are available in the following subjects: English-language arts, history-social science, foreign language, visual and performing arts, science, mathematics, health, and one is currently being developed in physical education.
The curriculum frameworks also provide the basis for the development of criteria for selecting instructional materials, kindergarten through grade twelve. The state constitution requires the state Board of Education to review and adopt textbooks, to be furnished without cost, for use in grades one through eight throughout the state. The state also subsidizes the cost of textbooks used in high schools but does not adopt high school texts. As with frameworks, the state adopted instructional materials provide guidelines to districts in choosing instructional materials. The law states that because of the great diversity within California, the choice of textbooks and instructional materials shall be made locally. The state encourages districts to involve teachers and the local community in the selection process. Individual districts are free to use their own funds to supplement the state-supplied materials.
Although funding and policy guidelines come from the state and federal governments, it is the local school districts that implement and administer educational programs. Some programs are designed to meet the special needs of particular students; others attempt to improve the educational environment for all students. The 50 specific programs available in California schools include the following:
- The Economic Impact Aid program provides state funds to schools which are located in low income areas or have large numbers of students with poor academic skills. A federal program, ECIA Chapter I, directs funds into the same target areas. These programs emphasize instruction in the basic skills of reading, language, and mathematics and include auxiliary services such as counseling and health services.
- The School Improvement program provides additional funds directly to most local elementary and middle schools and some high schools. Decisions on how to spend the money, such as providing release time for curriculum, planning and professional development, or purchasing extra materials, are made at the individual school level by a school site council made up of school staff and parents.
What special help in reading is available for children? What is the function of the Miller-Unruh reading program? What is the function of the Gifted and Talented program? Are there special services available for migrant children?
The Miller-Unruh reading program contributes toward the salaries of specialists who provide supplementary instruction for elementary school children with reading disabilities; Priority is given to the youngest children, those in grades K through three.
- Federal and state bilingual education programs are designed to accommodate the special needs of children with no English skills.
- The Gifted and Talented program provides differentiated and learning opportunities within the core curriculum for children with identified high intellectual, creative, or leadership abilities. Each district's program is determined locally, within state guide-lines.
- Federal and state migrant education programs provide services to children of migrant workers, including supplementing the regular school program with preschool, extended day programs, and summer school.
Career-vocational education programs provide high school students and adults with instruction and support services necessary for success and productivity at home and work. These programs also offer post secondary education and training institutions to the broader community. Programs primarily occur as part of regular high schools, and regional occupational centers and programs; some are located in continuation and adult schools. The emphasis in career-vocational education is to integrate academics, applied academics, general employability, and occupational education developed in partnership with business and industry.
Adult education programs meet a wide range of educational needs. Emphasis is given to improving basic educational skills for adults needing remediation and for those who are not proficient in English. Federal funds are available for basic skills instruction for students functioning below the eighth grade level. An individual who does not have a high school diploma may earn one through adult education courses.
Other programs are designed to meet the special needs of older persons and persons with disabilities and to improve the students' vocational and parenting skills. Personal enrichment and recreation classes are offered on a fee basis.
The amount of funding available to any California school district is primarily determined by the state. Since 1972, the basic financing of school districts has been controlled through a system of "revenue limits" governed by state law and annually adjusted through state budget policy. In 1991-92, local property taxes provided $5.3 billion (20.4 percent) of school money, but every district's total of property tax and state general aid is set by the state legislature. The state provided $16.1 billion (61.5 percent) for schools in 1991-92, as well as $485 million (1.9 percent) from the state lottery. Another $2.2 billion (8.6 percent) derives from local sources including parcel taxes, the sale and lease of property, and developer fees; and $2 billion (7.4 percent) federal funding completes the school funding picture.
Federal assistance to K-12 schools comes mostly in the form of "categorical" grants of aid for special programs. The federal government also provides a kind of general aid to some districts where federal employees live and work. This form of assistance, known as "impact aid" has been declining in recent years as federal military base closures have reduced the number of federal dependents. Thirty-four percent of the California State Lottery's total sales are allocated for public education. Lottery money is shared proportionately by all levels of public education, from kindergarten through the college and university level. School districts and governing bodies decide how to spend the money, which by law may be used for any instructional purpose except research or the purchase or construction of facilities.
Another initiative, Proposition 98 (see Figure 14.1 --About Proposition 98) from the November 1988 ballot, established a Constitutional guarantee designed to ensure that annual state funding for K-14 education would keep up with state revenue growth, enrollment growth, and cost-of-living increases. In addition to setting a minimum level for total state funding, Proposition 98 entitled school districts and community colleges to a share of any future state revenues that exceed the states' expenditure limit ("Gann spending limit") and required public schools to issue annual "report cards" to the public providing an array of basic data. It is considered unlikely that the State will ever collect revenues in excess of the limit, so these other aspects of Proposition 98 are not well known.
Public schools traditionally have been financed on a shared basis by the local school districts and the state, with the local districts drawing upon the local property tax and the state drawing upon the General Fund. The larger share used to come from local property taxes. Under this system the amount of money available for public education depended upon two factors: the tax rate of the school district and the assessed value of the taxable property in the district. Thus, a low tax rate in one district might produce a high level of support per pupil, while in another district even a high tax rate would produce only a low level of support because the assessed value of property was much less.
The resulting disparity in dollar expenditures per pupil among districts with similar tax rates prompted a suit against the state. In four provisions:
- Minimum funding guarantee for K-12 schools and community colleges based on the same share of the General Fund as the base year 1986-87 or the prior year's funding from state and property taxes adjusted for inflation (growth in per capita personal income) and enrollment increases in high revenue growth years. In low revenue growth years, (when General Fund tax revenues grow more slowly than per capita personal income) inflation is defined as growth in per capita General Fund revenues plus one-half percent.
- Payment to K-14 education of 50 percent of the excess when state tax revenues exceed the Gann spending limit; the remaining 50 percent is rebated to the taxpayers.
- Annual School Accountability Report Cards (SARCs) listing at least 13 specific items.
- A "prudent" state budget reserve.
(Source: Office of the Secretary of State, EdSource)
In Serrano v. Priest (1971), the California Supreme Court ruled that it is a violation of the equal protection clause of the California constitution to allow the amount of educational spending per pupil to be determined by the taxable property wealth of the district where the student lives. The legislature was ordered to restructure school finance methods to reduce the disparities caused by property tax wealth to less than $100 per pupil. In 1974-75, slightly more than 50 percent of school children lived in school districts that met that requirement. By 1990-91, this figure had risen to 96 percent, but the $100 had also been increased to $290 for inflation.
The basic mechanism for distributing public funds to schools is average daily attendance (ADA), defined as the average number of students either in school or validly absent each day. In 1991-92, spending for each K-12 student in California averaged approximately $4,672.
Under California's present system of financing schools, state funds are allocated to school districts through a "revenue limit" system. Each district's revenue limit represents the level of funding per ADA to which the district is entitled, with revenue limits approximately the same throughout the state for districts of similar size and type. This designated level of funding is financed through a combination of local property tax and state aid. In school districts where the amount of property tax received is not sufficient to reach the revenue limit, the state makes up the difference. The state guarantees each school district an amount of general purpose funds equal to its revenue limit times its ADA.
In addition the constitution requires that each district receive "basic aid" of $120 per ADA or $2,400, whichever is greater. In most school districts, where the amount of local property tax is less than the revenue limit, the state makes up the difference and counts this amount against the constitutionally required basic aid. In the handful of school districts where the property tax wealth exceeds the revenue limit, the basic aid provides additional funding.
In addition to these unrestricted funds, school districts receive funds which can be used only for special purposes, such as those for the School Improvement Program or Miller-Unruh reading specialists. About one-quarter of a school district's funding is in the form of such categorical aid.
Post Secondary Education
Education beyond the high school level includes specialized vocational and technical training, degree programs in the sciences and liberal arts, and postgraduate professional schools. California's public post secondary education system is the largest in the nation, serving over 1.7 million students annually at 137 campuses throughout the state.
The California Post Secondary Education Commission was created in 1973 to provide coordination and planning for higher education. It makes recommendations to the governor and legislature on budgets, admissions policies, proposed academic and occupational programs, and student fee and aid levels.
The commission is composed of 17 members, nine of whom represent the general public and are appointed by the governor and legislative leaders. Six members represent public and private post secondary institutions and organizations and two members represent students and are appointed by the governor.
The Student Aid Commission administers several state and federal financial aid programs, including loans, grants, and college work-study. Any student attending an accredited public or private college or university in California is eligible for such assistance. The most common form of assistance is the loan, awarded on the basis of financial need, and the largest program is the federal Guaranteed Student Loan Program.
The Master Plan for Higher Education was created in 1960 at a time when increasing enrollments, rising costs, and competition for funds, prestige, and new facilities prompted the need for coordination among the various higher education institutions. The original Master Plan created separate statewide governing boards for what became the California Community Colleges and the California State University (the University of California was already established in the Constitution and governed by the Regents). It also led to the creation of a statewide higher education coordinating council, now known as the California Post secondary Education Commission. The Master Plan provided for the differentiation of function among the three segments of higher education. The specific roles of each segment are discussed in the following descriptions.
In addition to differentiation by function, the Master Plan also differentiated the pool of students from which each segment was to draw: UC from the top one-eighth of the high school graduating class; CSU from the top one-third; and the community colleges are to accept every Californian with a high school diploma or age 18 or above. The Master Plan has undergone two exhaustive reviews -- in the mid-1970's and in the late 1980's. In particular, the most recent review emphasized the importance of being able to accommodate growing numbers of students from ethnically and economically diverse backgrounds.
More than 1.5 million students attend California's community colleges. Total enrollment is twice that of CSU and UC combined and represents one-fourth of community college enrollment nationwide. The student body is diverse in age, skill level, and academic goals; many attend part-time. Anyone over 18 years of age is eligible for admission; a high school diploma is not a prerequisite.
The community college system offers several different programs, including a two-year curriculum leading to an associate degree in arts or sciences. A student with a good academic record may transfer to a four-year institution to earn a higher degree. Vocational and technical education programs have become an increasingly important part of the community college, curriculum; numerous occupational certificates and credentials may be earned. Community colleges also provide instruction in citizenship and remedial skills. In addition, noncredit community service classes such as landscaping are offered on a self- supporting fee basis.
California has 71 community college districts which operate 107, campuses throughout the state. Unlike the University of California and California State University systems, community college districts are administered by their own locally elected boards of trustees as well as a statewide board of governors. The local boards approve curriculum and allocate funds to the programs and campuses within their jurisdiction. They also select the president of each college.
A statewide board of governors, composed of 16 members who are appointed by the governor, provides board policy guidance to the system. The board adopts regulations for all community colleges, allocates state and federal funds to districts, and reviews academic programs and construction of facilities. The board appoints a chancellor, who is the chief administrative officer of the system.
The individual California State Colleges were brought together as a system in 1960. In 1972, the system became the California State University and Colleges, and 14 of the 19 campuses became universities. Now all of the campuses are universities, including the addition of the twentieth campus in San Marcos.
Admission is open to all eligible students from the top third of high school graduates. Admission standards may be waived in a limited number of cases to encourage minority enrollment.
The California State University system is oriented to undergraduate education, and offers a broad range of liberal arts, sciences, and occupational undergraduate degrees. The Master Plan for Higher Education assigns primary responsibility for teacher education to the CSU system; each campus offers credential programs for elementary, high school, and special education teachers. CSU also provides graduate instruction at the masters degree level; it awards some doctoral degrees jointly with the University of California.
Who makes up the board of trustees for the California State University system? Who appoints the chancellor for the California State University system? Who appoints the presidents for the California State University system?
Responsibility for CSU is vested in the board of trustees. The board consists of 18 members appointed by the governor to eight-year terms and five ex-officio members -- the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the Assembly, superintendent of public instruction, and chancellor of CSU. The board of trustees appoints the chancellor, who is the chief executive officer of the system, and the presidents, who are the chief executive officers of the respective campuses.
Berkeley, Irvine, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Davis, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco
Bakersfield, Hayward, Pomona*, San Jose, Chico, Humboldt ,Sacramento, San Luis Obispo*, Dominguez Hills, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Marcos, Fresno, Long Beach, San Diego, Sonoma, Fullerton, Northridge, San Francisco, Stanislaus, and *Polytechnic Universities
The University of California has grown from one campus of 38 students in 1868 to one of the world's largest centers for higher education. The university has eight general campuses as well as one health sciences campus in San Francisco and numerous research facilities. Hastings College of the Law, located in San Francisco, is affiliated with the University, although it remains administratively separate.
Admission to the University of California is open to high school students graduating in the top eighth of their class. Nearly all of those enrolled in the university are full-time students.
The university has three roles: instruction, research, and public service. It provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the liberal arts, sciences, and the professions and awards doctoral degrees. It has exclusive jurisdiction in public higher education over instruction in the professions of law, medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine.
The University of California is the primary state-supported agency for research. The Lick Observatory, the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and the Air Pollution Research Center are some of the many research facilities. Under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy, the university conducts research programs in nuclear energy at the Lawrence Laboratories in Livermore and Berkeley and the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in New Mexico.
The university maintains medical schools and teaching hospitals at five campuses. In addition to their role in clinical instruction, these centers serve as community resources for highly specialized medical care. Other public services of the university include agricultural information services and a broad program of continuing education for adults in the arts, business, and professions.
To govern the university, the constitution grants authority to a 25-member Board of Regents -- a board that has substantial freedom from legislative or executive control. Seven members of the board are ex-officio: the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the Assembly, superintendent of public instruction, president and vice president of the alumni association, and president of the university. Eighteen additional members are appointed by the governor with approval of the Senate, for twelve-year terms. A university student selected by the Regents from a pool of candidates nominated by the University of California Student Association, is appointed to a one-year term by the board. In addition, two faculty representatives (the Chair and Vice Chair of the Academic Council) serve as nonvoting members of the board. In selecting Regents, the governor must consult a constitutionally established advisory committee. The constitution requires that the regents "shall be able persons broadly reflective of the economic, cultural, and social diversity of the state, including ethnic minorities and women."
The Regents appoint the president of the university, who is its executive head. With the advice of the president, they appoint chancellors and deans, who administer the affairs of the individual campuses.
California has three other publicly supported post secondary institutions: the Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles, locally financed; the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey, federally financed; and the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, state financed. The Maritime Academy is one of only six institutions in the United States that provide a program for men and women who seek to become licensed officers in the Merchant Marine. It is governed by an independent board of governors composed of seven members appointed by the governor for four-year terms.
More than 1,600 private vocational and technical schools serve the specialized educational needs of thousands of Californians. They offer courses in a wide variety of fields such as business, barbering, and cosmetology. The Council for Private Post secondary and Vocational Education issues certifications of approval to these private schools.
In 1991-92, a total of $15.9 billion in state General Funds was appropriated to higher education in California for current operations, compared to $17.7 billion for K-12 education. The state General Fund is the largest single source of income for post secondary education. The federal government is another large contributor, providing funds primarily for research and student financial aid programs rather than for instructional expenses. The three systems of higher education, community colleges, California State University, and the University of California, vary in the sources of their funds and the autonomy with which they are spent.
Education in public post secondary schools traditionally has been tuition free to California residents. However, student fees are charged for services not directly related to instruction, such as health services and recreation. In 1991-92, the annual student fee for a full-time undergraduate student was $120 at community colleges, $1 ,088 at CSU and $2,486 at UC. Financial assistance is available to eligible students.
In terms of funding, community colleges have more in common with K-12 schools than with other post secondary institutions. Community colleges receive about three-fourths of their funding from the state General Fund, the same percentage as do K-12 schools. Funds are allocated on the basis of full-time equivalent (FTE) students. The community college is the only segment of higher education receiving local support, as property tax revenues provide their second largest source of income. Through the state budget process, the governor and the legislature set some spending policies and determine the total state contribution to the community college system. The system's Board of Governors and the chancellor allocate funds to the 70 individual districts; the locally elected boards and the campus presidents decide how funds will be spent within individual districts and colleges.
The California State University system is supported primarily by the state General Fund. The governor and the legislature exercise considerable control over financial decisions by the use of line-item budget appropriations. Funds are allocated to individual campuses by the statewide board of trustees and the chancellor.
The University of California system is supported primarily by a combination of state General Funds, federal funds, gifts, grants, endowments and student fees. Unlike the governing bodies of the community college and CSU systems, the Board of Regents and the officers of the individual UC campuses have substantial autonomy in deciding how to spend their funds. Over half of the total federal funds spent for higher education in California go to the university's research laboratories which are funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Capital improvements traditionally have been financed from direct appropriations from the state General Fund and the Capital Outlay Fund for Public Higher Education (COFPHE or "coffee" fund), which receives its revenue from the state's tidelands oil operations. However, since 1986 capital improvements have been funded primarily from General Obligation bonds, the High Technology Education Revenue Bond Program and other revenue bonds.
Capital outlay funds are used for new construction, major repair or remodeling projects, or unusually large equipment purchases. The annual state budget lists each major capital expenditure at each campus individually. Minor capital improvements (those costing less than $200,000 per project) are authorized in a lump sum by the legislature and are allocated to individual projects and campuses by the administrative boards of the colleges and universities. Such improvements are designed to alter existing facilities to meet changing program needs, make needed repairs, provide handicapped access, or meet fire and safety requirements, such as the removal of hazardous asbestos. Local governments have no role in funding capital improvements for the UC and CSU systems.
Located in Sacramento, the state library provides research and reference materials for officials, legislators, and other state employees. The library maintains several specialized collections, including law, government publications, and California history. The public may use the library's collections and may borrow materials through their local libraries on interlibrary loan.
The library provides special services to visually-impaired and physically challenged individuals. Volumes in Braille, phonograph records, and audio cassettes are circulated to eligible individuals through the mail.
While local libraries are locally administered, the state library makes consulting, reference, and interlibrary loan services available to them. It also administers several grant programs to enable local libraries to extend their services.
The Sutro Library in San Francisco, which houses rare books and reference materials on genealogy, Mexican and English history, is also part of the state library.