The Foothll-De Anza Community College District could lose the ability to serve 9 percent of its current enrollment under the state budget proposed Monday (Jan. 10) by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Chancellor Linda Thor said it is too early to draw firm conclusions, but that the governor's proposed cuts to community colleges was estimated to translate to a $10.9 million hit to her district's $182 million operating budget, atop $20 million in cuts sustained over the past two years.
Under formulas used by the Community College League of California, the proposal translates to an enrollment loss of 4,000 of the district's current 45,000.
"They tell us up front, 'With this amount of money, we'll pay you for this many students,'" Thor said Monday.
"So when they reduce the money, they also reduce expectations for students. We naturally will have to reduce the number of course sections we offer. In excess of 90 percent of our funds come from the state.
"In the past, we've tried to serve as many as possible through efficiency," she said, adding that previous cuts led to a 4 percent reduction in the number of course sections in the fall of 2009.
The proposed cuts to Foothill-De Anza come at a time when Thor anticipates growing demand stemming from Brown's proposed $500 million cuts each to the University of California and the California State University systems.
The preliminary figures bandied about Monday also depend upon voter approval this spring of tax extensions sought by Brown.
"If those are not approved, there will be additional cuts of $500 million to the community colleges, so it's pretty devastating," Thor said.
Thor said it is "way too early" to comment on how the proposed cuts could affect Foothill and De Anza's transfer programs to UC and CSU, or Foothill's Palo Alto campus in the Cubberley Community Center.
"When we have to make cuts at Foothill-De Anza. we use a shared governance process that involves all our constituency groups in discussions of alternatives, so as in the past we'll go through that participatory process," she said.