CSU bosses reject prop to fund state JCs
Proposition 92 would cut tuition at state's community colleges
November 15, 2007 9:50 AM
The California State University Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to oppose a measure that would cap community college fees at $15 per unit.
If Proposition 92 passes, community colleges would essentially cut its student fee revenue and possibly absorb more money from the state General Fund – leaving other educators weary. Community colleges currently receive two-thirds of its funding from the General Fund, and one-third from student fees and other sources.
The CSU opposed the measure because it would allocate an additional $300 million to community colleges “but at the same time provide no new sources of revenue,” said CSU spokesperson Paul Browning.
“The CSU said that passage of prop 92 could mean leaner times, less funds from the state, and a smaller pool of discretionary funds from Sacramento for higher education in general,” Browning said.
Chancellor Philip R. Day Jr. of City College of San Francisco said that the CSU’s position is “very short sighted.”
“I find that a bit surprising and disconcerting at a time when the community colleges are being asked by both the UC and CSU system to take on more of the burden of providing educational opportunities to larger numbers of students,” Day said. “I would think that they would be supportive of our efforts to take the pressure off of them by expanding access and accommodating the students they don’t want to serve.”
Present laws bundle K-12 schools and community colleges as a single entity when assessing minimum funding requirements, and disburses funds based on K-12 enrollment. Proposition 92 would make separate minimum funding guarantees for K-12 schools and community colleges. Approximately 40 percent of the General Fund is allocated to meet the requirement, but community colleges only receive 10 to 11 percent of those funds.
“We get penalized when K-12 enrollment decreases,” Day said. “Why should we be penalized or victimized by the K-12 system? [Prop 92] creates a separate system to isolate ourselves so we can do our job.”
The current $20 per unit at community colleges are among the lowest in the nation, and the CSU argues that Proposition 92 would “mean less money for the CSU and UC system” Browning said.
“At the community colleges, lower income students already get few waivers,” Browning said. “The passage of the proposition may mean higher fees for CSU and UC systems, who have been forced to pay more in recent times because the state has reduced funds. The proposition could make funding more difficult that what it already is, and we’re trying to boost pay for faculty for staff.”
However proponents state that Proposition 92 would alleviate the burden on community colleges at a time when other institutions are increasing their admission requirements.
“The CSU system admission standards are going up, and the UC recently said they need to make their standards higher,” Day said. “The only system going to be here to take care of students is community college. We’re the state’s safety net.”
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