In Brown We Trust: How the Governor’s Budget Affects SRJC

Tara Kaveh, Staff Writer

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For new and returning students, the problem of not getting into classes is a constant roadblock that may finally be resolved. In spring 2012, California Community Colleges (CCC) suffered a permanent budget cut of 12 percent and were expecting to experience an additional 8 percent cut.

The current classes at Santa Rosa Junior College are designed around a system that anticipated this financial blow of 20 percent. With the passage of Proposition 30, CCCs can now keep that significant 8 percent of their finances. The focus of SRJC school officials is to restore 8 percent to the budget to expand class options.

This brings hope for the restoration of many general education classes necessary for transfer students, AA certificate classes, summer classes and the Extended Opportunity Program and Services–all of which suffered tremendous cuts from the previously anticipated budget.

California Governor Jerry Brown’s initial proposal for the 2013-14 fiscal year of allocating $179 million to buy down existing deferrals, $196.7 million in increased apportionment funding, $49.5 million to support energy efficient efforts which would expand career technical education training, and $16.9 million to enhance online education efforts will bring much needed financial aid.

This week, SRJC President Dr. Frank Chong will attend the California Annual Legislative Conference in San Diego. The CCC budget will go under review, but it is still too early in the season to make decisions because adjustments depend directly on whether California will meet the projected estimate of state tax and budget tax revenues. If these estimates are met, higher education finances will rise. Chong says, “I’m very appreciative of the governor recognizing how important community college education is.”

He hopes to use the funding to meet student demands to provide the best possible training in order for students to enter the workforce. Chong also recognizes that given the current state of CCCs budgets, these additions may not necessarily provide dramatic increases, but help us “catch up back to where we were.”

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