Tax hike will help California community colleges

California community colleges will add classes and cut wait lists, now that voters have approved tax increases to fund education, reports the Los Angeles Times.  An additional $210 million in funding will be used to serve about 20,000 more students during the academic year, new community colleges Chancellor Brice Harris said.

The system’s 112 community colleges had been reeling from state funding cuts of $809 million since 2008, with course offerings slashed by almost a quarter and nearly half a million fewer students.

About $50 million of the new funds is earmarked to increase student access and $160 million to replenish services funding that has been deferred by the state since the recession started.

“I’m guardedly optimistic that we’re beginning to find the bottom in California,” Harris said. “We believe so goes California, so goes the country. This system is so large and so significant that we were fearful that if we weren’t able to stop the bleeding, it would begin to affect the country as a whole.”