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Higher Education Budget Improving

The state budget outlook for California´s four-year public colleges and universities appears to be brightening after several years of deep cuts and student fee increases.

And the system´s leaders are optimistic about the funding deal struck a year ago with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The California State University´s governing board of trustees is meeting in Long Beach this week.

Both the University of California and Cal State systems have seen hundreds of millions of dollars in budget reductions that have forced cuts in enrollments. Last year, the two systems signed a six-year funding agreement with the governor that promised more money in return for initial cuts and significant student fee hikes.

At the time, critics called the agreement a sellout and said system leaders should have pushed for more money. But leaders of the two systems say they expect the agreement will stand.