Governor's Budget - Jan. 11, 2011
You've probably heard by now that Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing major cuts in virtually every sector of the 2011-12 state budget except K-12 schools to address California's $25.4 million deficit, while concurrently calling for a five-year extension of temporary taxes and
fees that are set to expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
The governor has proposed cuts in many areas, including about $400 million in state funding reductions for community colleges in 2011-12 if Californians vote to extend the expiring taxes. If the tax extensions are not approved, the governor has called for an additional $500 million in cuts for California community colleges to help achieve a balanced state budget. Obviously, that magnitude of reductions, following several prior years of cuts, would be
devastating for our district and California community colleges across
The $400 million in cuts the governor proposed for community colleges in 2011-12 would translate to roughly $10.9 million in state funding reductions for our district, according to projections by the
Community College League of California. The League further estimates that Foothill-De Anza will lose approximately 4,400 additional students as a result of the budget cuts. This is likely to be aggravated by the redirection of additional students to community colleges from the University of California and the California State University systems, each of which the governor had proposed to cut by $500 million.
Before I address how we plan to proceed, here are a few additional highlights of the governor's 2011-12 budget proposal for community colleges:
* A fee increase of $10 per semester credit unit (from $26 to $36)
and $7 per quarter unit (from $17 to $24)
* 1.9 percent enrollment growth
* No further cuts to categorical programs
* No mid-year budget cuts in 2010-11
Thankfully, because of sound fiscal decisions made by our Board of Trustees and constituency groups, we have a $10 million stability reserve to help us manage state cuts in the least damaging way possible. Our hope is that the stability reserve would see us through the next 18 months, but as you can see from the governor's proposals, it may not stretch that far. In any case, I can assure you that we will look closely at the best way to use our available resources to navigate through this difficult time.
Of course, as we know from experience, much can happen between now and the Legislature's adoption of a 2011-12 budget. Over the next few months, we are sure to hear a lot of potentially alarming information about how the state budget gap will be addressed.
Some observers have suggested this "first blush" budget proposal of the governor's intentionally contains an element of "shock and awe" intended to clearly demonstrate what the California state government landscape will look like if voters do not approve any new taxes at the polls in June. However, there is no dispute that California has an alarmingly large ongoing budget problem.
So how will we proceed? We are determined not to react to every piece of new budget information or "flavor-of-the-day" budget solution that comes out of Sacramento the next few months.
Instead, we will take a measured, strategic perspective as the budget unfolds, just as we have in the past. We will plan for multiple scenarios and take a multi-year planning approach. And we will
operate in an open and transparent manner, working closely with our constituency groups to find the best solutions possible for our students and our district.
Although we won't know the exact final form of the budget for at least five or six months, particularly in regard to the tax extensions, Vice Chancellor of Business Services Kevin McElroy and Budget Director Bernata Slater will schedule budget forums on the campuses in the next few weeks to present what information we do have and answer your questions.
Meanwhile, we also will advocate vigorously against community colleges having to take more than our fair share of pain and any ill-considered policy proposals.
Together we have all done an outstanding job making tough budget-balancing decisions over the past 18 months and positioning ourselves for the future. Together we will build on what we've done
and thoughtfully explore our options as we move forward.
There are so many wonderful things we are doing in this district, thanks to your many talents and efforts. I regret that so much of our time must be spent focused on budget issues when I would prefer to use the time sharing and celebrating our achievements and finding new ways to constantly improve our service to students. Despite the current budget struggles, my intention is to do these things as well. I hope you will join me in this important work. This is why we are all here.
Please do not hesitate to share your ideas and initiatives with me, now and in the future.
Linda Thor, Chancellor