The Foothill-De Anza Community College District will lose $8 million for its current-year budget and turn away "hundreds, if not thousands" of students under the current mid-year budget proposal from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, district officials warned today.
More than a quarter million students might have to be turned away statewide, the officials said.
Statewide, community colleges face $332 million in budget cuts, which would mean turning away almost 263,000 students, according to an analysis by the Community College League of California on the effects of the budget cuts on the state's 110 community colleges.
"A 10 percent budget reduction means turning students away at a time when their education is critical to the future of Silicon Valley," Bruce Swenson, Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees president, said. \
"This is not the time to offer students fewer classes and services. It makes no sense."
Foothill-De Anza Chancellor Martha Kanter said the budget situation is the worst she has seen in her 30-plus years in higher education.
"California's requirement for a two-thirds legislative vote to pass the budget has hamstrung the state's ability to raise taxes and close tax loopholes," Kanter said.
"These steps are necessary to provide essential state services, including education. Foothill-DeAnza will join other advocates in urging solutions to California's budget deficit that will not devastate the lives of so many residents of our state."
Kanter also noted that unemployment in the state is projected to rise from 7.7 percent to 9.7 percent in 2010, while "community colleges are California's most cost-effective and efficient way to ensure that our state has a well-educated, well-trained workforce to lift us out of this economic crisis."
The current budget proposal calls for 10 percent budget cuts at all levels of public education in California, including K-12, community colleges, the California State University system and the University of California.
The Foothill-De Anza Community College District serves more than 45,000 students at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills and De Anza College in Cupertino.