First, let me say what a nice feeling it is to open the state budget and see the numbers for community colleges in black, rather than red, ink. We owe a debt of gratitude to California's voters for their approval of Proposition 30 and the seven years of more stable funding that it provides.
The budget plan proposes sweeping policy changes that embrace and build upon work that has been done in recent years, and answers significant policy questions such as ones about the future of adult and noncredit education.
As is typical on January 10, there is no language that allows us to probe the details of each of these proposals. However, I am happy to report that Governor Brown's staff has made significant outreach to us and to the Chancellor to make it clear that we'll be part of the discussion about details in upcoming months.
The governor's proposal for all three systems highlights the need in California to increase college completion, and we anticipate a thorough discussion in the upcoming months. This is not about "rationing" or budget cutting anymore, but rather recognizing the economic and social justice mandates for tackling this issue.
Here are the major components of the proposed budget for community colleges:
- No change in student fees.
- $196.9 million (3.6%) for increased apportionments, without specifying the use. There will be a discussion about the balance of access/restoration and quality through the budget process.
- $179 million for deferral buydown, reducing borrowing needs of community college districts. This reduces the outstanding deferral to $622 million.
- $133.2 million in increased General Fund in 2013-14 to recognize that anticipated redevelopment revenues are not materializing. In 2012-13, the Administration is proposing $47.8 million to offset proposed redevelopment shortfall, which will likely leave districts with a significant current year deficit.
- $16.9 million to provide increased access to matriculated students through the use of technology.
- Change the census-based apportionment system to provide a larger apportionment amount to students who are still enrolled at the end of the semester/quarter.
- Limit state-supported instruction in community colleges to 90 units. Units beyond the cap would be not be state supported, but available at full cost to the student.
- Require all students seeking a BOG Fee Waiver to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Shift of the remaining adult education program, including $300 million, from K-12 schools to community colleges, and an additional $15.7 million from the K-12 apprenticeship program to community college apprenticeship programs.
- Creation of a $450 million energy efficiency fund for schools and community colleges using funds from Proposition 39 (counts toward Proposition 98 guarantee), with $49.5 million for community college projects.
Additionally, the California State University and the University of California are each provided $125.1 million, including $10 million each to increase access to techonology-based courses for students. This is consistent with the commitment from last year's budget that, if the segments didn't raise fees in 2012-13, they would receive $125 million in 2013-14.
The governor is to be commended for his tireless advocacy to advocate for Proposition 30 and for presenting a bold budget proposal that upholds the commitments he (and we) made to the voters in talking about the measure.
We will have more details during our joint budget webinar with the Chancellor's Office on Monday at 10 a.m., which you should have received an e-mail from Theresa Tena about. You can sign up for the budget webinar at:
Again, thank you for your advocacy on Proposition 30 and over the last several years.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Orange Coast College '94