Jack Scott Sounds Alarm at the Additional $149 Million - Feb. 23, 2012
Subject: MEDIA STATEMENT
California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott Sounds Alarm at the Additional $149 Million Unexpected Budget Cut the System Will Sustain this Academic Year California's disinvestment in higher education will have a lasting impact on an entire generation of students.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott issued the following statement on the revised budget projections that show the 112-college system will take another $149 million unexpected cut this year largely because of the higher demand for student fee waivers and lower than expected property tax revenues.
"This $149 million reduction is unexpected and even larger than the mid-year trigger cut that the community college system has already endured," Chancellor Scott said. "This will result in colleges further reducing course sections, additional borrowing and staff reductions. The new 2.75 percent budget decrease is effectively doubled because colleges only have a half year to try to find savings. "Because of the poor economy, we've seen a dramatic increase in the number of students receiving the California Community Colleges Board of Governors Fee Waiver.
This alone accounts for $107 million of the added shortfall. As a state, we need to recognize the lasting damage that the disinvestment in higher education is having and commit to properly funding our colleges and universities." Scott said his office is working to convince the Legislature and governor to restore funding for the current fiscal year. In the 2011-12 budget, the California Community Colleges was cut $400 million, and in December mid-year "trigger" cuts resulted in an additional $102 million reduction because state revenues fell short of projections.
Since 2008-09, the college system has seen its funding slashed by $809 million, which translates into a 12 percent reduction. The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation. It is composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.6 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills courses in English and math, and prepare students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. The Chancellor's Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.