Jack Scott Reacts to Gov. Brown’s Revised Budget Proposal - May 16, 2011
– California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott today issued a statement about Gov. Jerry Brown’s May revised budget proposal for fiscal year 2011-12:
“In today’s May revise budget, Gov. Brown laid out a fiscally responsible, balanced approach to lead the state in the right direction. I commend him for allocating $350 million to reduce our present deferral funding of $961 million. This will give our colleges badly needed resources in this difficult year and will assist them to provide both job training and the first two years of a college education. Gov. Brown has proposed an honest solution to California’s budget mess, one that relies on both cuts and revenues. We hope that Californians can vote on a tax extension that could provide education for thousands of students.”
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation. It is composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.76 million students each 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.
Information on the governor’s May revised budget plan for fiscal year 2011-12:
- 5% budget reduction ($290 million). The governor’s May revised budget maintains the $400 million cut and $10 per unit student fee increase originally recommended in his January budget proposal for fiscal year 2011-12. The fee increase will generate $110 million for the colleges to support access for additional students.
- The $400 million budget reduction will be partially offset by the $110 million generated through the fee increase which means the proposed overall reduction for the California Community Colleges is $290 million. This cut translates into approximately 140,000 students losing access to classes.
- The fee increase, beginning fall 2011, will raise student fees from $26 per credit unit to $36 (38.5% increase).
- California Community Colleges fees could potentially be raised even more if the tax extensions are not approved by the Legislature and voters.
- Decrease in the inter-year deferral payments. The governor is recommending reducing the system’s inter-year deferral payments by $350 million – from $961 million to $611 million annually.
Impact to the California Community Colleges:
Over three year period, the system has sustained nearly $1 billion in cuts. The community college system has been cut by nearly $1 billion over the last three fiscal years ($520 million in fiscal year 2009-10 and $400 million currently proposed for fiscal year 2011-12. The system received 2.2 percent funding growth, $126 million, in fiscal year 2010-11.).
Impact of proposed budget cuts to community college students
- When implementing budget cuts in prior years, community college CEOs were directed by state chancellor Jack Scott to retain courses that lead to job retraining, degrees, certificates, transfer, and that help increase basic English and math skills.
- California has been divesting in higher education in the past 15 years
- Enrollment at the California Community Colleges has grown 44% in the last 15 years, yet per student funding in 2009-10 (adjusted for inflation) was lower than it was in 1995-96.
- The demand for a community college education is continuing to outstrip resources. The California Community Colleges would have naturally grown by at least 5.5% in 2009-10. But instead, decreased funding caused the system to shrink by 4.8%.
- In the 2009-10 academic year, the system sustained $520 million in budget cuts which equated to 8% of its overall budget. It is estimated that approximately 140,000 students were turned away from community college campuses in 2009-10 due to course reductions.
- The California Community Colleges are serving 200,000 students for which the system is receiving no state remuneration.
- For fall 2009, course sections were cut by 6.3% and enrollment dropped by 0.2% over fall 2008. While total headcount declined by only 0.2%, the system’s first-time community college student enrollments decreased by 12% indicating that the hardest hit by budget reductions are recent high school graduates and displaced workers because they do not have priority registration.