California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott released a statement Aug. 22 warning of the possibility of additional imminent budget cuts to all 61 state community colleges.
“The financial situation is dire and we don’t see it getting any better soon, in fact it may get worse in December,” the state community college chancellor said.
Both Scott and CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed warned that the budget woes will only worsen if predicted mid-year reductions occur.
For the 2011-12 academic year, funding for California Community Colleges has been reduced by $400 million and the tuition has been raised by $10 to $36 per unit, amounting to $1,080 per year for a full-time student. In addition, Cal State’s 23 campuses have taken a $650 million hit to their funding and have been forced to raise fall undergraduate tuition by 12 percent, a nearly $300 increase per semester.
“We’ll continue to meet needs as best we can but we need sufficient resources.” Said Scott, “Our system is currently being funded for 2.5 million students but enrollment demand is so high, this academic year we estimate up to 670,000 students seeking a community college education will not be served.”
Reed, the CSU chancellor reiterated he and Scott’s commitment to the future of the State’s public colleges, “California needs to reinvest in higher education and to once again devote the resources needed to create the most educated workforce in the world. The current and future students of this state who graduate … are critical to getting the economy turned around.”
Ultimately, the fate of any additional 2011-12 academic year tuition increases will depend on if state revenues fall by more than $1 billion below projections. If they do, community colleges would be facing an additional $30 million cut in funding and students would face a mid-year tuition increase from $36 to $46 per unit.