April 20, 2009
This weekend, the California Community College Trustees and Chief Executive Officers of California Community Colleges boards voted unanimously to support the six ballot measures on the May 19 ballot. In doing so, the boards recognized that the measures are necessary to implement the eighteen-month budget adopted by the Legislature and governor in February, and necessary to avoid a $319 million cut to community colleges in 2009-10.
Clearly, the decision was not made lightly, as organizations the League is normally aligned with fall on both sides of the measures. However, while critics from both the political right and left argue that the measures should be opposed, no practical alternatives have been offered. With a two-thirds vote required for budget approval, neither those that argue for larger cuts nor advocates of larger tax increases can yield a better solution than the one approved in February, which requires these ballot measures to work. These measures will better enable the state to weather the fiscal storm that is battering it, although we must also redouble our efforts to ensure long-term budget stability for community colleges and a more reasonable budget process.
The links below provide more information about why the League is supporting the package, including a district-by-district analysis of what's at stake. We encourage all local boards and other organizations to adopt the resolution and join the coalition supporting the measures.
These are critical times for Californians and the community colleges that serve them. With unprecedented enrollment demand from record number of high school graduates, surging unemployment, returning veterans and redirected students from our four-year universities, it is essential that community colleges are provided the funding necessary to keep the doors open. To the best degree possible, the February budget plan does that, which is why we must fight to uphold the plan by approving the package of ballot measures on May 19.
I hope you will join with the League and me in helping to explain the impact on community colleges of the package of ballot measures as we work to ensure access and quality for the students you serve. As always, I welcome your comments or questions.
President and Chief Executive Officer