The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey / nshockey.express@gmail.com
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

No fee hike in new state budget

The state budget has been finalized—100 days past its due date. For City College students, this means no enrollment fee increases for the time being.

According to Susie Williams, Los Rios Community College District assistant vice chancellor of communications, the new budget has allocated $200 million less than during the 2009-2010 budget.

“This budget is the most complex budget the state has ever concocted,” Williams said. “They’ve run out of gimmicks, and they’re trying to create new gimmicks, and it is very difficult to understand what the impact does and what it all means.”

In a letter to district employees, Chancellor Brice Harris wrote, “Considering the current fiscal environment, it is probably the best budget we could achieve. It is a clear demonstration of how highly regarded our colleges are by the Legislature. Their funding growth suggests they believe California’s community colleges are an important part of getting Californians back to work.”

“The concern,” Williams said, “is that this budget is already out of whack, perhaps by as much as $10 billion, and mid-year cuts might be required to address the short fall.”

In his letter to employees and faculty, Harris said that there were enhancements made to community colleges totaling $206 million, which included funding for enrollment growth, workforce programs, as well as money to backfill categorical programs.
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However, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has returned from a recent trip to Russia, vetoed two of the augmentations the Legislature included for community colleges.

According to Harris, this includes $25 million for workforce training and $35 million to backfill categorical cuts imposed in the 2009-2010 budget.

Categorical programs include CalWORKS, basic skills, nursing program support, disabled students (DSPS), Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), and all the matriculation functions including assessment and orientation. According to Williams, all these programs saw drastic cuts between 40 and 49 percent reductions in 2009-2010 budget.

Federal stimulus money totaling $35 million helped backfill these programs in 2009-2010. According to Williams, those backfills are gone, leaving all those programs with no funds.

“Our colleges are trying to maintain these programs for students as best as possible, but clearly, these reductions are very large and have an impact,” Williams said.

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