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Jerry Brown continues push for more online college classes

January 15, 2013 |  7:00 am

Gov. Jerry Brown is set to launch a two-day push for more online classes at California's public universities
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday is set to launch a two-day push for more online classes at California's public universities.

Brown is scheduled to speak at a San Jose State University on Tuesday morning as the school announces a new pilot program that will make online courses available to students. On Wednesday, Brown is to attend a meeting of the Board of Regents of the University of California to push for some of the items he is seeking in his budget plan, including more online courses and a call for the university to find ways to trim money from the budget.

Next week, Brown is to attend the meeting of the Cal State Board of Trustees in Long Beach.

In his budget, Brown set aside nearly $37 million to expand the number of online courses at the state's public universities and community colleges. Overall, he proposed boosting the UC and Cal State systems' budgets by more than $250 million above what they received from Sacramento in last year's budget, with increases of 4% to 5% over the next four years -- more than enough, Brown said, to prevent tuition hikes during that time.

University leaders say they welcome the additional money and that they are open to Brown's ideas on cost-cutting and online courses.

"We've always endorsed the potential for online education," said regents President Sherry Lansing. "This is not some kind of new topic for us. We just didn't have any money for it."

Although university officials say tuition hikes would be unnecessary this fall if Brown's proposals are adopted, they would not commit to a longer-term tuition freeze.


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-- Anthony York in Sacramento

Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown points to a chart as he details his proposed budget last week. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press