Chancellor Kanter: May 22, 2009 Budget UpdateTo: All Faculty and Staff
From: Chancellor Martha Kanter
Date: May 22, 2009
As we discussed at the Foothill and De Anza town hall meetings yesterday, Gov. Schwarzenegger is proposing further cuts to programs that directly serve and support our students. These draconian funding reductions would hit California community colleges with an estimated $500 million to $700 million in cuts for 2009-10. For our Foothill-De Anza family, this would mean an estimated $15 million to $21 million in further budget reductions beyond the painful cuts we've already made.
There is no question that cuts of this magnitude would have a devastating effect on our ability to serve students, and the consequences for students would be dire. Community colleges across California would be forced to drop classes and close programs, and more than 250,000 students would be turned away. In addition, the Schwarzenegger administration proposed scaling back the state's Cal Grant program next year, affecting 125,000 community college students, according to press reports. These grants enable some of California's financially neediest students to pursue higher education. Meanwhile, legislators already are talking about raising community college fees, possibly as high as $60 a unit.
Simply put, California is looking at a proposal for community colleges that would roll back per-student spending to 1982 levels, according to the Community College League of California. As you can see, these proposals, if enacted, would test our mettle in ways we would never have imagined.
As we move through this budget crisis, we will pull together as a community and have already begun working on solutions, as we have done together many times in the past. We are counting on your active participation in budget deliberations to make the hard choices we have ahead of us if, as it now appears, we must further reduce our expenses by 8-11 percent for 2009-10. We have included links to additional information for your review.
* Scott Lay/CCLC Message: More Budget Cuts http://fhdafiles.fhda.edu/downloads/homefhda/cclcmorecuts.pdf
* State Chancellor's Office Budget Update--May 21, 2009 http://fhdafiles.fhda.edu/downloads/homefhda/skinnermemo.pdf
* Legislative Analyst's Office Overview of the 2009-10 May Revision http://fhdafiles.fhda.edu/downloads/homefhda/LAOoverview.pdf
* Chronicle for Higher Education article: "California Community Colleges May Reduce Enrollment by 250,000 Students" http://fhdafiles.fhda.edu/downloads/homefhda/CHEarticle.pdf
As we go through this difficult period, please join us in exercising extraordinary care and patience with each other and our students. We're all in this together and will do everything we possibly can to preserve our programs and people.
We will provide you with frequent communications to keep you apprised of developments at the state level and how we are making decisions to address our financial challenges at our colleges and Central Services. Be assured that we will participate actively in statewide legislative hearings and conversations to advocate for a response that preserves as much educational opportunity for students as we can.
We will distribute information to you in the weeks ahead about what you can do to help, including schedules of upcoming hearings and contact information for key legislative leaders. Please also keep your students informed about how their education may be affected. It is up to all of us to make sure that our community and legislative leaders understand the full implications of what is being proposed.