Funding cuts? It could be worse

Facing a possible $800 million funding cut, California’s community colleges could turn away 400,000 students in the fall, warns Chancellor Jack Scott.

Republicans have blocked Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to let voters decide whether to extend and increase taxes. Scott said he expects a 10 percent cut in the community college system’s total budget.

“This is a tremendous tragedy, and a very deep blow to the economy of California,” Scott said, describing community colleges as the “No. 1 workforce training institution” in the state.

California enrolls 2.75 million students. “That’s 140,000 fewer students than two years ago, when budget cuts forced the colleges to shed thousands of courses and instructors,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Community college tuition is scheduled to rise from $26 a unit to $36 a unit, still low compared to other states.

Elsewhere, some states are  cutting four-year universities more than community colleges, reports Inside Higher Ed.

In New York, for instance, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and state legislative leaders unveiled a budget compromise Sunday that includes significant cuts to public higher education — but not the 10 percent across-the-board cut that Cuomo had originally proposed. The budget deal restores $18.2 million to community colleges in the City and State University of New York systems, but no money to their four-year institutions.

In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Corbett’s budget proposal cuts community colleges by 1 percent, while cutting 50 percent of state university funding.

There are states where community colleges are taking the brunt of the cuts. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer wants to cut community college funding by 50 percent, while cutting  state’s universities by 20 percent.

Texas legislators have proposed closing four community colleges.

Debbie L. Sydow, president of Onondaga Community College, in New York, said governors tend to propose community college cuts, then legislators restore the money.

“Community colleges have been underfunded from the beginning,” Sydow said. “It’s in the normal course of business for us to operate efficiently…. I just think [the legislature] is finally starting to understand that community colleges are very nimble in preparing people for jobs and understand what we offer in terms of economic development.”

It’s important to preserve the “educational safety net,” said Patrick M. Callan, president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.  “The sector that’s least able to look to tuition to make up for losses has to be a priority.”


POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs ON April 1, 2011

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Milan Moravec

University of California has massive budget shortfalls. It is dismaying Calif. Governor Brown. President Yudof have, once again, been unable to agree on wage, benefit concessions to eliminate tuition increases. .
Californians face mortgage defaults, 10% unemployment, salary reductions, loss of medical, unemployment benefits, higher taxes. Yudof needs to demonstrate leadership by curbing wages, benefits. If wages better elsewhere, chancellors, vice chancellors, tenured, non tenured faculty, UCOP apply for the positions. If wages commit employees to UC, leave for better paying position. The sky will not fall on UC.

‘Pitch in’ for much-needed and appreciated wage concessions UC, Californians suffer from greatest longest recession of modern times. UC wages must reflect California’s ability to pay, not what others are paid.
‘Pitch in’ UC President, Faculty, Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, UCOP:
No furloughs
18 percent reduction in UCOP salaries & $50 million cut.
18 percent prune of campus chancellors’, vice chancellors’ salaries.
15 percent trim of tenured faculty salaries, increased teaching load
10 percent decrease in non-tenured faculty salaries, as well as increase research, teaching load
100% elimination of all Academic Senate, Academic Council costs, wages.

(17,000 UC paid employees earn more than $100,000)

However, rose bushes always bloom after pruning.

UC Board of Regents Chair Sherry Lansing can bridge the public trust gap with reassurances that UC salaries reflect depressed wages in California. The sky will not fall on UC

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