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Community Colleges Cope With Mid-Year Cut

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    NEWSLETTERS

    How will the California budget trigger cuts affect higher education? Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott assesses the damage to getting a college education. (Published Saturday, Dec 17, 2011)

    California’s community college system took a $102 million blow last week when Gov. Jerry Brown announced mid-year trigger cuts after state tax revenue did not meet the target established in July’s budget.

    “We were expecting this,” said Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott. “I had recognizes that probably the revenue projections were a bit too rosy.”

    The chancellor of the largest community college district in the world told NBC 4 that tuition at his institutions have grown to the highest in history - $1,390 for a full-time student.

    “We’re trying to do the best we can,” Scott said. “Not because we want to, demand is extremely high, but because we don’t have enough resources.”

    To cope with the strapped resources California’s community colleges have cut courses, scaled back on faculty hiring, capped units and increased tuition.

    In two years the state’s community colleges have been hit with a 77 percent increase in per-unit costs, rising from $26 in 2010, to $36 in 2011 and $46 in 2012.

    California CC’s feed the CSU and UC schools with students, but Scott said earning an associate’s degree in the typical two-year timeframe is no longer the reality.

    Since the system was slashed 8 percent of its state funding two years ago, Scott said school officials estimated about 140,000 students have not been able to get into the classes they need.