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California Community College Faculty Upset Over Proposed Budget Cuts

Jenny Chen |
March 31, 2011 | 5:51 p.m. PDT

Associate News Editor


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Creative Commons
More and more of California’s college students may choose to go out-of-state as budget cuts threaten to slash community college enrollment numbers and thousands of classes. 

Discussion in Sacramento over California’s budget has created a rather depressing outlook for the state’s 112 community colleges, which may have to deal with an $800 million funding reduction for the school year 2011-2012. 

That is twice the proposed $400 million budget cut proposed by Governor Jerry Brown last week, which will already result in a $10 hike in student fees per unit. 

Community college professors are displeased about potentially steeper cuts based on a statement released by the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges on Wednesday. 

“Not only will community colleges need to cancel more classes, turn away hundreds of thousands of students and lay off more faculty, California will be undermining its best provider of workforce development,” said Faculty Association President John McDowell.

Community college leaders are anticipating additional cuts up to $685 million, which would force schools to turn away over 400,000 students. 

Already, 47 percent of California students are unable to enroll in classes because they are full, according to a survey conducted for the Pearson Foundation by Harris Interactive.

“California will never emerge from the Great Recession without community colleges,” McDowell said. “It’s time for us to prioritize education over ignorance, giving our residents the ability to compete in a twenty-first century global economy.”  

The FACCC, which is composed of 10,000 members in the state of California have been vocal about potential budget cuts to community colleges statewide. 

With nearly 2.75 million students in the CCC system and community colleges growing in popularity nationwide, faculty are concerned higher fees will force students to go out of state due to fewer training opportunities. 

One of the major issues is that Gov. Brown was unable to let voters decide whether to extend and increase taxes, letting billions of tax dollars expire in June. Voter approval would have raised $13 billion for the state, but Democrats were unable to get four Republican votes to put the measure on the ballot. 

Reach reporter Jenny Chen here.

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