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Community Colleges Face Deficit

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Columbia, CA – Community Colleges are reeling from another budget cut.

According to Scott Lay, President of the Community College League of California this additional cut brings total 2011-12 reductions to $564 million.

According to California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott, “This $149 million reduction is unexpected and even larger than the mid-year trigger cut that the community college system has already endured.”

According to Columbia College’s President, Dr. Dennis Gervin, “The district has been planning out a good two years because we know that there is the potential for more cuts. Now this hit us suddenly, we weren’t expecting this piece, so now we’re having to dig into next year’s plans somewhat to figure out how we are going to try to respond.”

Dr. Gervin said the Yosemite Community College District, which includes Modesto Community College, will have to cut about 2.8 million. Dr. Gervin noted that the district is still looking at all their resources and he hasn’t heard of any instructors or classes being cut yet.

Chancellor Scott stated that the new 2.75 percent budget deficit is related to lower-than-expected property tax revenue and greater demand for student fee waivers due to the economy. According to the Chancellor’s Office, since 2008-09, college system funding has been reduced by $809 million, or 12%.

The Chancellor’s Office is calling for the governor and Legislature to quickly pass legislation to address this unexpected cut and to restore funding to the community college system.