Higher education to serve thousands of additional students
by Artur Tofan
Community colleges throughout California will receive $210 million in additional funds for the 2012-13 academic year as a result of passing Proposition 30. The measure will allow community colleges to serve an additional 20,000 students this year.
California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris says voters made a wise investment in California by passing Proposition 30. The measure will stabilize funding and begin to make room for more students. Thousands of students throughout the state have been shut out of community colleges over the past four years as a result of severe budget cuts. The passage of Proposition 30 means colleges can now begin to serve some of those rejected students.
“Voters placed their faith in public education as a means of getting our state’s economy back on track,” said Harris, “we have a long road back to financial health, but state commitment for our colleges is now pointed in the right direction, and we can continue to be the leaders in educating the workers needed for our changing economy.”
Recent budget cuts have shut nearly 500,000 students out of community colleges since the 2008-09 academic year, and course offerings have been slashed by 24%. If the measure had failed, colleges would have cut an additional $338 million from their budgets beginning in January 2012. That would have translated into 29,000 fewer classes offered and an additional 180,000 fewer students served.
“I’m so glad my fellow Californians saw the value in our community colleges,” said Constance Carroll, the San Diego Community College District Chancellor. “They saw all the good that a community college education means” and realized the impact on the economy should the cuts have occurred.
Harris believes community college students made the difference in the passage of Propostion 30. “I would like to thank our students for the tremendous turnout, the voter registration efforts and the support of this measure,” Harris said. “We are pleased that the voters of California have been very supportive of their community colleges and we’re looking forward to adding back classes and serving our students.”
The California Community Colleges system is the largest system of higher education in the nation, serving 2.4 million students per year.