Colleges see over 50 percent
hike in proposed funding
California Gov. Jerry Brown
CALIFORNIA GOV. JERRY BROWN has done well by the over 100 community colleges in the state with his revised budget released earlier this month.
According to my calculations – which should be regarded with caution: I am mathematically challenged – the governor has proposed increasing the community college system budget by more than 50 percent from his January plan.
The reason: improving state revenue and a brighter budget outlook.
In an update received on Monday, the president of the Community College League of California, advised that some of it could change before final approval by the state Legislature expected in mid-June.
“WHILE THE GOVERNOR’S May Revision was the best in years for community colleges,” said Scott Lay, “we recognize the non-education priorities and the fact that many of our students and their families rely on the state’s health and social safety net that enables them to attend college.
“The [Legislative Analyst’s Office] increased revenue picture provides hope that we can tackle both educational and non-educational state needs.”
Lay reported that the LAO released a report Friday that projected that state revenues would exceed the governor’s May Revision projections by $2.8 billion
But at the same time, Lay said, the LAO provided an option to the Legislature by which funding for community colleges could actually be cut from the governor’s May budget proposal.
“Talk about confusing!” he said.
My head is spinning. When it comes to the California legislature, that is not unusual. If one could believe it at all, until last November’s election it was even more dysfunctional than Congress.
The article published in the Sacramento bee on April 13 © SGE, Inc.
NOW AT LEAST the Democrats have a super majority and can just give the finger to the Republicans.
But can even the Democrats get their act together?
Don’t hold your breath.
In a May 14 report, the California Community College League president told us the fundamental budget deficit had not been addressed even by the governor’s May revision.
“We are diving into the details of the May Revision, and are concerned that the significant current year deficit is not addressed,” Lay said.
“However, we applaud the governor for finding a balanced approach to student access, success, and equity, as well as his recognition that more time is needed to provide a seamless transition to a new model of delivering adult and noncredit education.”
SOMEONE IN THE KNOW finally admitted what I exposed in my op-ed published in the Sacramento Bee on April 13.
Behind the scenes, the governor and Legislature are revising the mission of community colleges throughout the state. Check this story out; it was published more than a month ago. Budget crisis an excuse for community college mission shift.
According to Lay, the Legislature is expected to begin taking action on the final budget soon, with completion by June 15.
“We will be meeting with the Consultation Council on Thursday and the CEOCCC board on Friday to develop an advocacy response,” he said on Monday.
If the Legislature does approve a budget before the deadline on June 30, it will be another small miracle. The number of times it has met the constitutional mandate in recent history, is in the single figures.
Why would it be any different this time?