News

Community colleges face massive budget hit

Thousands of students could be turned away due to $8 million in budget cuts

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."

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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.

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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.

-- Don Kazak

— Emilie Doolittle

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Community colleges face massive budget hit

Thousands of students could be turned away due to $8 million in budget cuts

Uploaded: Tue, Nov 18, 2008, 10:19 am

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.

-- Don Kazak

— Emilie Doolittle

Comments

What happened
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 18, 2008 at 12:14 pm
What happened, Old Palo Alto
on Nov 18, 2008 at 12:14 pm

There are many places to cut what about PE is that really necessary. I know there is a class called the history of rock and roll. Also how many of the students smoke one pack a day costs 1200 per year. and how about the cars in the lot 20 thousand a pop. See the politicans are going to do nothing and then shut down the schools, and say now you have to give us more of your money. I don't like being blackmailed, and I have given enough.


rhody
Barron Park
on Nov 19, 2008 at 9:47 am
rhody, Barron Park
on Nov 19, 2008 at 9:47 am

Foothill gives PE classes for the disabled and handicapped. These are very valuable to the community and some of its most needy (not in a financial way) population. So please don't be so quick to dismiss PE.


It's your business & friends this will affect
another community
on Nov 19, 2008 at 2:48 pm
It's your business & friends this will affect, another community
on Nov 19, 2008 at 2:48 pm

I'm in Redwood City, and I'm in the middle of upgrading my skills at Foothill. These cuts are terrible news -- the college is already swamped with people who need community colleges to get on the road to a four-year school or to just keep up.

For the person complaining about music history classes -- my classes are mostly in the music/music technology departments. It's really a shame that someone wouldn't realize that the class in History of Rock, Pop & Jazz, and the class in History of the Blues, are important parts of music instruction -- as important as instruction in classical music history for someone who wants to get a job in the Bay Area's music business. And I say this as someone taking classes on the classical/music-tech side.

As for PE classes, physical fitness is important for basic health, for people of all types of physical ability.

Without the classes I'm taking now I don't think I'd be very employable in the next few years. Don't be short-sighted about what kinds of education are worthwhile!


John the Man
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 23, 2008 at 12:47 pm
John the Man, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 23, 2008 at 12:47 pm

I'm a classified Foothill employee. It simply comes down to Californians deciding that they will need to pay more in taxes as well as accept cuts in state spending. Forget placing blame right now, it's too late for that to do any good. The budget mess is just so dire, there is no way to close the chasm than to both raise taxes and to cut spending. One or the other along simply isn't going to work or to even come close to closing the deficit.

There are certainly other longer-term solutions like changes in cirruculum, increases in student fees, and the like. But those take time to change. We're talking about a MID-YEAR cut of $8 million. No way to fix that short of higher taxes and cuts in spending.


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