Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Community college budget problems

The LA Times reports that the Ventura County Community College District is having severe budget problems:
"Facing a $1.6-million budget gap this fiscal year and a $6-million shortfall next year, Ventura County Community College District officials are considering laying off instructors, eliminating or reducing nearly two dozen academic programs and shutting down cafeteria services at all three campuses."
Educational programs listed as facing cuts include the journalism program and student-run newspaper, as well as "electronics, theater arts and foreign language instruction."

For some history on state education funding, last year Gov. Schwarzenegger promised to fund education in 2005 to levels guaranteed by state proposition 98, as long as the community colleges and K-12 programs accepted a one-time funding cut in 2004. This year, the governor pulled out of that promise and proposed reducing funding from proposition 98 levels. The governor's office is trying to spin the story by saying that they're increasing the education budget, but there's no escaping the fact that they're decreasing funding from levels guaranteed by state law. For a fairly detailed treatment of the issue, see this San Diego Union-Tribune article.

So, if anyone thought that California community colleges weren't still having budget problems, this is just a little reminder that we still are.

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