Linda Thor: Wonderful News - Nov. 7, 2012

Dear Colleagues,
Proposition 30’s passage and the re-election of our three incumbent trustees are welcome public recognition of the importance of California community colleges. By agreeing to tax themselves for seven years under Proposition 30, a majority of voters reaffirmed their belief in the transformative power of education and the critical importance public higher education holds for California’s future.
Before describing the fiscal impact on our district, I want to say how pleased I am that voters have returned Joan Barram, Betsy Bechtel and Laura Casas Frier to our Board of Trustees. With Trustees Pearl Cheng and Bruce Swenson, they will continue to provide the leadership and stability that is essential at a time of great change.
Voter approval of Proposition 30 has spared the district from having to act on our “worst-case” budget scenario. Nonetheless, this will be a difficult year. Instead of having to make $11.9 million in cuts in 2012-13 – our worst-case estimate – we must reduce the district’s expenses by “only” about $5.7 million, assuming we meet our enrollment targets. This ongoing structural gap between revenue and spending is the result of three years of state budget cuts and our recent enrollment declines. To be fiscally responsible, the district must take steps to permanently downsize, which includes eliminating positions.
As we celebrate today’s election victory, congratulations and heartfelt thanks are due to the students, faculty and staff who gave generously of their time, talent and resources to register voters, inform our communities and get out the vote. I believe these statewide efforts to mobilize students and other new voters across California provided the margin of victory for Proposition 30.
Working together, I know we have the talent and dedication to get through these changes and find new ways of doing our work. Our district is resilient and has weathered fiscal hardship before. As we move forward, please extend your efforts to care for and support each another during this unsettling time.
Linda Thor, Chancellor
Linda M. Thor, Ed.D.
Foothill-De Anza Community College District
12345 El Monte Road
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
(650) 949-6100
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