California’s promise of an affordable higher education for its residents is being jeopardized by state budget cuts, the leaders of the state’s college and university systems warned, reports the Associated Press. The cuts threaten to violate a half-century-old document known as the Master Plan for Higher Education that has made California’s higher education system a model for the world. In a rare joint appearance, the heads of the University of California, California State University and community college systems on Monday told lawmakers the education promise was in doubt because they don’t have the money they need. "You better increase the size of the pie because that’s what the issue is all about," Jack Scott, chancellor of the state’s 110 community colleges, told a joint legislative committee examining the state’s master plan. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature have cut spending at UC and CSU by 20 percent to help balance the state’s budget amid the steep economic downturn. Community colleges received about 8 percent less funding in 2009-2010 fiscal year. To deal with the cuts, the UC system, which has about 220,000 students, has raised student fees 15 percent since January, reduced freshman enrollment by 6 percent and forced most of its 180,000 employees to take furloughs and pay cuts up to 10 percent…

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