FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2012
1000 Hensley Creek Road
Ukiah, CA 95482
Contact: Gwen Chapman (707) 468-3071
MENDOCINO COLLEGE TRUSTEES AND ACADEMIC SENATE VOTE TO SUPPORT PROPOSITION 30
The Mendocino College Board of Trustees and Academic Senate have both unanimously passed resolutions in support of Proposition 30 in the upcoming presidential general election. The proposition, known as the "Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act," will provide $548.5 million in funds to California community colleges in 2012-13, according to the resolutions.
Both resolutions cite the extensive funding cuts which have faced community colleges statewide in recent years, cuts which have led to reducing the number of course sections offered from 5-15 percent each year per district. This equates to as many as 130,000 potential students in a single year who have been turned away due to unavailability of course sections.
The proposition would temporarily increase the state sales tax by 0.25% and add a personal income tax increase for individuals earning over $250,000 and households earning over $500,000. This tax revenue would be allocated to K-12 schools as well as community colleges.
"California community colleges are essential for providing students with the skills to be economically successful in the California economy," states the Academic Senate's resolution. Community colleges provide access to higher education for over 2 million Californians annually.
Looking toward the prospect of funding which would provide much-needed help for the school's shrinking budget, Mendocino College President Roe Darnell is hoping for the best but planning for the worst. "If Proposition 30 does not pass, Mendocino College will experience a 16% decrease in state funding. That's $3.3 million over the next 3 years." He notes that Mendocino College has seen an enrollment drop of 7%, the equivalent of 200 full-time students.
In the past five years, community colleges have lost 9.6% in per-student funding, from $5,659 per student in 2007-08, to $5,115 in 2011-12.
Though student enrollment fees have more than doubled since the 2008-09 school year, the majority of community college students have incomes so low that they are eligible for the Board of Governors' (BOG) Fee Waiver. "Community colleges have carried an estimated 252,000 students over the last five years," says the Board of Trustees' resolution, "...for whom they have not received any apportionment, categorical, or student support funding."
During the same time that enrollment fees have increased, community colleges have operated with $809 million (12%) less in state funding, including cuts to both apportionment and categorical funding.
According to the resolutions, the passage of Proposition 30 will "enable California's community colleges to restore essential student service programs that were cut by up to 60% over the last three years."
The Community College League of California has also taken a support position on Prop. 30. President and CEO Scott Lay notes that “If Proposition 30 fails, both the new funding provided by the measure and an additional amount (‘the trigger’) will be cut from both K-12 and community colleges for a total of $5.4 billion. In a memo on the subject, Lay also explains that while the League has taken a neutral position on Proposition 38, which funds K-12 and early childhood programs, if Prop. 38 passes with more votes than Prop. 30, those trigger cuts will still take effect, in accordance with the 2012-13 budget act.
The Board of Trustees' 6-0 vote on the resolution to support Proposition 30 was taken September 12, while the Academic Senate passed their resolution on October 11.
Created: October 29, 2012 @ 02:14 PM
Last Modified: October 29, 2012 @ 02:19 PM