May Revise: More Information
League staff has been working overnight with other system leaders to get more information on the significant cuts proposed to community colleges in yesterday's budget proposals by Governor Schwarzenegger. Here are a few brief updates, followed by a draft chart of the proposal.
Proportionality - The cuts appear to be disproportionately against community colleges, when compared to UC, CSU and K-12, both in terms of the current proposal and a three-year analysis of how each segment will fair.
Federal stimulus - While over $4 billion in federal stimulus is assumed to backfill cuts to K-12, UC and CSU, none is proposed for community colleges. The Department of Finance has indicated that they may revisit the federal funds to mitigate some community college cuts.
Categorical cuts - The categorical cut proposal is assumed to be an "across-the-board" proposal affecting all categorical programs. Flexibility language will be introduced by the administration to enable colleges to move money to protect local priorities.
More details on May 28 - The administration plans to release its formal proposed changes to the budget on May 28, and we may receive few details until then.
As I wrote yesterday, these are devastating and disproportional cuts targeted at the system that is widely recognized as the most important in this economic crisis. While cuts may be inevitable and colleges should plan for them, the League plans to aggressively fight to protect access and success to our community college system.
I hope you will join that effort and enlist your colleagues on your campus. If you know someone who can help and is not already receiving these updates, encourage them to sign up on the League's web site. These decisions will likely be made over the summer, and we simply can not afford to skip this fight.