State Treasurer Phil Angelides on Tuesday urged creation of a $5-billion endowment for California higher education through the development and possible sale of state-owned properties, including urban land and unused warehouses.
With public funding for the state's colleges and universities slipping even as their enrollments grow, Angelides said his proposal could ultimately provide an extra $300 million annually for scholarships, counseling and academic preparation efforts. He said the money should supplement, not replace, existing state funding.
"Today, the hurdles for young people who want to go to college in California are getting higher and higher at a time when we need more to enroll in college in order to compete in the global economy," Angelides said at a Sacramento news conference.
Several education advocates, including former state Secretary for Education Gary K. Hart, lauded the proposal as an innovative effort. Others said the idea would probably face hurdles in the Legislature and elsewhere.