January 10, 2011
California Community Colleges Impact of Gov. Brown’s2 011-12 Proposed State Budget (January 2011)
Impact to the California Community Colleges:
6.8% budget reduction ($400 million). This cut translates into approximately 400,000 students losing access to classes (200,000 students already in the system for which the colleges are receiving no state remuneration and roughly 200,000 additional students).
The proposed $10 per unit fee increase would generate $110 million for the colleges to support an additional 50,000 students.
With the fee increase as many as 350,000 students could lose access to a community college education.
$10 fee increase would raise student fees from $26 per credit unit to $36 (38.5% increase).
Impact of proposed budget cuts to community college students
When implementing budget cuts in prior years, community college CEOs were directed by state chancellor Jack Scott to retain courses that lead to job retraining, degrees, certificates, transfer, and that help increase basic English and math skills.
Total proposed cuts to three segments of higher education
University of California $500 million
California State University $500 million
California Community Colleges $400 million
Priorities and efficiencies
The California Community Colleges is the most cost-effective system of education in California. While the state revenue needed to support one community college full-time student is slightly more than $5,000 per year, that same student costs approximately $7,500 in the K-12 system and $20,000 and $11,000, respectively, at UC and CSU.
The community colleges have looked at every corner of the system to come up with efficiencies. Tactics implemented include course reductions, debt restructuring, administrative consolidations, energy savings programs, IT efficiencies, increased class sizes, reduced student services programs, furloughs, additional online instruction, increased industry partnerships and transfer coordination with the UCs and CSUs. The system is exhausting all options to free up additional funds and many college reserves are low.
California has been divesting in higher education in the past 15 years
Enrollment at the California Community Colleges has grown 44% in the last 15 years, yet per student funding in 2009-10 (adjusted for inflation) was lower than it was in 1995-96.
The demand for a community college education is continuing to outstrip resources. The California Community Colleges would have naturally grown by at least 5.5% in 2009-10. But instead, decreased funding caused the system to shrink by 4.8%.
In the 2009-10 academic year, the system sustained $520 million in budget cuts which equated to 8% of its overall budget. It is estimated that approximately 140,000 students were turned away from community college campuses in 2009-10 due to course reductions.
The California Community Colleges are serving 200,000 students for which the system is receiving no state remuneration.
For fall 2009, course sections were cut by 6.3% and enrollment dropped by 0.2% over fall 2008. While total headcount declined by only 0.2%, the system’s first-time community college student enrollments decreased by 12% indicating that the hardest hit by budget reductions are recent high school graduates and displaced workers because they do not have priority registration.
Economic benefits of higher education
If just 2% more of Californians earned associate degrees and 1% more earned a bachelor’s degree, our state’s economy would grow by $20 billion, state and local tax revenue would increase by $1.2 billion a year and 174,000 new jobs would be created.
The economic return on investment in California's higher education infrastructure is a win-win for the state and its taxpayers. For every $1 California spends on higher education, it receives $3 in return.
The California Community Colleges is the largest provider of workforce training in the state and nation.
Workforce skills gap
Undergraduate demand for the three public systems of higher education in California is expected to
grow by 387,000 students by 2019. To accommodate the increase it will take $1.5 billion more in revenue.
If current funding trends persist, the Public Policy Institute of California estimates by 2025 California will face a shortage of 1 million college degree and certificate holders needed to fuel its workforce.
Approximately 55% of CSU and 30% of UC bachelor’s degree recipients started at the California Community Colleges.
With baby boomers retiring as the best educated and most skilled workforce in U.S. history, labor experts are concerned that California will lack workers with the critical aptitude needed to replace them.
Estimated financial impact of fee increase to students
Under the current $26 per credit unit fee, full-time students enrolled in 15 units pay approximately $780 per academic year.
** With the proposed fee increase to $36 per credit unit, full-time students would pay 38.5% more or roughly $1,080 per academic year.
Fiscal Year Fee (per unit)
2011-12 $36 (proposed amount in Gov. Brown’s Jan. 2011 budget)
*Prior to 1984, community colleges charged no fee
© 2010 California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. 1102 Q Street, Sacramento, California 95811, Fourth Floor | 916.445.8752