Preliminary Talking Points on Proposed Budget
May 14, 2009
From Scott Lay
Here are our initial thoughts on the governor's budget proposal:
We acknowledge that the governor’s hands are tied by a dysfunctional budget system in Sacramento, and support the ballot measure package that would ease the crisis. However, these proposed cuts are devastating to California’s economic recovery.
Whether or not the ballot measures pass, California’s community colleges are facing a historic downsizing by this budget. The budget would remove funding for between 140,000 and 175,000 full-time students on top of the 50,000 currently being served without funding. That’s the equivalent of shutting down both the Los Angeles Community College District and the Los Rios Community College District in Sacramento.
As California’s unemployment rate is projected to continue to rise, four-year universities continue to turn away students and veterans return from abroad, enrollment demand at community colleges continues to increase, but the doors simply will not be open.
The budget proposes significant federal stimulus money for K-12 schools, the University of California and California State University. However, no federal funds appear to be proposed for California’s community colleges, which are key to our economic recovery.
The proposed cuts of $221-334 million to categorical programs would undercut access for key programs for poor and disabled students.
Community colleges have been belt-tightening for years. Community colleges receive one-half what the California State University receives per student and one-third what the University of California receives. This budget appears to provides significantly larger cut to community colleges than other education entities.
The proposed $200 million cut in the last 45 days of the fiscal year is unreasonable and will shift major borrowing costs on community college districts, and may lead to some districts being forced to skip payments to local small businesses.
Many details are not yet available, including which categorical programs would be hit by the proposal. As soon as we get more details, we will provide them to you.
Thank you for joining the fight,
President and Chief Executive Officer
Community College League of California
2017 O Street, Sacramento, California 95811
916.444.8641 . www.ccleague.org