The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges released a statement today saying "the failure to allow voters the opportunity to save their community colleges and other public services is beyond disappointing."
Community colleges were cut by $400 million in the budget bills Gov. Jerry Brown signed last week. Part of that cut will be made up by a $10 per unit increase in student fees. But without tax extensions, the colleges are predicting cuts of $685 million, according to the faculty association's statement. That would mean canceling so many classes that 400,000 students would be turned away statewide, the association claims.
"Not only will community colleges need to cancel more classes, turn away hundreds of thousands of students and lay off more faculty, California will be undermining its best provider of workforce development," association President John McDowell said in the statement.
Meanwhile, a national survey released earlier this week shows that California community college students are already more likely to be turned away because of full classes compared to community college students in other parts of the country.
Forty-seven percent of California students -- compared with 28 percent nationwide -- have been unable to enroll in courses because they were full, according to a survey by Harris Interactive conducted for the Pearson Foundation. The lack of courses means that in California, 41 percent of students enrolled in fewer classes than they originally planned, the survey found. Nationwide, the figure was 28 percent.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jazmine Lopez of San Jose, a student at De Anza College, participates in a rally of community college and university students at the Capitol on March 14, 2011 against budget cuts. Hector Amezcua / Sacramento Bee