By Sarah Rohrs
Following years of painful budget cuts, California is singing a different tune these days thanks to tax windfalls for state coffers, according to the governor’s office.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s draft spending plan, a prelude to summer talks and deliberations for a new budget, calls for record levels of spending, state offices announced.
The governor is projecting a $107.8 billion general fund to pay for day-to-day- operations — about $1 billion more than what he proposed earlier this year.
That figure represents a 24 percent increase over spending levels in the 2011-12 budget.
Brown’s draft plan also calls for $142 million to address a litany of problems related to the current drought, including firefighting, emergency response, water management, wildlife preservation and food assistance, according to wire reports.
via Local colleges pleased with funding in May budget draft plan – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Brianna Boyd, Editor
Dixon High seniors who plan to enroll in a community college next fall will want to mark their calendars for a Community College Application Fair taking place at the high school later this month. The school will be hosting the fair on Feb. 28, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the library. College representatives and admission officers will be present from a number of area schools, including Solano Community College, Woodland Community College, Sacramento City College, Butte Community College and Napa Community College.
The fair is one of many new activities and events taking place at Dixon High this year to promote a college going culture. At the Community College Application Fair, students will be encouraged to apply for admission to one or more schools if they have not already done so.
via Dixon High hosting community college… – The Dixon Tribune | Facebook.
By John Fensterwald and Kathryn Baron
With state revenues surging, Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing to raise K-12 spending in next year’s state budget a healthy $725 per student – 8.5 percent on average – and to use additional new dollars to wipe the last $6 billion of late payment to schools, known as deferrals, off the books.
Brown will highlight increases for education when he releases the 2014-15 budget this morning. Leaks of the document to the news media on Wednesday pushed up the scheduled release a day. (See here and here for reports on the overall General Fund budget.)
Proposition 98 spending in 2014-15 would be $14.3 billion or 30 percent more than three years ago but less than 9 percent above the pre-recession level of $56.6 billion. Source: Governor’s Budget Summary for 2014-15.
via Brown projects big increase in school spending in next state budget | EdSource Today.
By John Fensterwald
From gloom to boom, how quickly things change. A resurgent economy and recalculations of revenue from the past two years will leave the state budget with a multi-billion-dollar surplus next year and K-12 schools and community colleges with unexpected billions more to spend, according to a projection that the Legislative Analyst’s Office released on Wednesday.
“The state’s budgetary condition is stronger than at any time in the past decade,” the LAO concluded in its 2014-15 Fiscal Outlook. “The state’s structural deficit – in which ongoing spending commitments were greater than projected revenues – is no more.”
via LAO projects huge Prop. 98 increase for K-12, community colleges next year | EdSource Today.
California students have new online help as they plan for careers and college, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.
“The diversity of our global economy can provide many opportunities for students, but having so many choices can be challenging as well,” Torlakson said. “With new features on two really great Web sites, we’re working to give students the resources they need to plan their path to a successful future.”
via Career Tech Web Enhancements – Year 2013 (CA Dept of Education).
By Susan Winlow
Members of the Solano Community College governing board will consider a partnership Wednesday with a nonprofit organization that could help provide an English-language program at the college for non-native speakers.
Board members will review a memorandum of understanding between the district and the International Education Center, which “disseminates education, encourages exchanges in educational cultures and contributes to international collaboration in education,” according to staff reports.
via Solano College looks to bring international center to campus Daily Republic.
By Dan Walters / firstname.lastname@example.org
College administrators and instructors – particularly those in public institutions – usually profess “progressive” ideological outlooks.
Oddly, however, they tend to be very conservative, even reactionary, in resisting operational changes. They revere traditional classes in traditional classrooms, calendars organized by semesters and quarters of instruction, lengthy recesses between those periods, curricula controlled by faculty senates – and, of course, tenure.
via Dan Walters: California higher ed resistant to change – Dan Walters – The Sacramento Bee.
By Kathryn Baron
When a long-awaited and much-needed bill to streamline transfer from community colleges to California State University passed the state Legislature three years ago, it had sweeping support: unanimous approval among lawmakers and a list of backers more than 80 deep. All is not so harmonious for its younger sibling, Senate Bill 440, which would compel campuses to move faster to develop transfer degrees.
Despite a spate of amendments in recent weeks, including several just released Monday, prominent community college and CSU officials and organizations have voted to oppose the bill by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Van Nuys, when it comes up for a hearing Tuesday in the Assembly Higher Education Committee.
via Resistance greets pumped-up effort to streamline community college, CSU transfer | EdSource Today.
By Kathryn Baron
With the right major, California community college graduates can out-earn workers with bachelor’s and master’s degrees – often by a lot.
Salary Surfer, an online consumer guide released by the Community College Chancellor’s Office Wednesday, lets prospective students and everyone else look up the median earnings for graduates of the 179 most popular subjects at community college campuses and check to see which colleges offer those programs.
Salary tracker shows earning power of community college grads – often more than graduate degree holders | EdSource Today.
By Kathryn Baron
Celebrate might be too strong a word, but, in the current fiscal context, community colleges have reason to at least raise a small glass as they head into summer.
The budget bill passed Friday by the Legislature brings the budget for the 112 community colleges up to $6 billion for the 2013-14 fiscal year. That’s up by more than $200 million over this year, and begins the process of restoring the $809 million hit community college have taken during the past three years.
State budget puts community colleges on (slow) path to recovery | EdSource Today.
Backing away from his controversial plan to hand control of adult education over to community colleges, Gov. Jerry Brown is instead proposing that regional consortia, made up of community colleges and school districts, determine adult ed’s future. However, his new plan is also stirring controversy.
In his budget revision unveiled Tuesday, Brown provides substantially more dedicated funding for adult education beginning in 2015-16, raising the amount allocated to $500 million instead of the $300 million in his original budget proposal for 2013-14 released in January. Brown’s original budget would also have made community colleges the lead agency for running the programs, which traditionally have been run by K-12 districts.
via Governor tries to fix adult ed plan, but controversy remains – by Susan Frey.
Optimism over an influx of money for schools, but also worry over funding for courts and health and social services were among local reactions Tuesday to Gov. Jerry Brown’s May budget revision.
The latest new year spending plan is balanced, and has something many are not used to — a surplus, this one about $1 billion.
via Local officials greet Brown’s May budget revision with worries ….
A Vacaville Unified School District trustee was unsure how Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget would eventually affect local students, but a Dixon Unified official said the Democrat’s proposal to give nearly $3 billion more to California schools would greatly benefit her small, rural district.
Additionally, Solano Community College President Jowel Laguerre said Brown’s plan to increase funding for elementary and secondary schools and community colleges is “wonderful news for what we’ve been through” during the past half-decade of budget cuts.
via Solano County school leaders seem to like Governor Jerry Brown’s ….
By Kathryn Baron
Community colleges will receive millions more to begin to restore cut classes, rebuild flagging enrollment and strengthen student support services under Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget released Tuesday.
Brown would add an additional $30 million to the system’s 2013-14 apportionment, raising it to $226.9 million from the Proposition 98 school funding guarantee. Unlike the January budget proposal, however, when Gov. Brown left it to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors to decide how to spend the money, the revise spells it out.
via Community colleges get boost under governor’s revised budget – by Kathryn Baron.
By Renee Schoof
WASHINGTON — Many students are sent to remedial math classes at community colleges to learn high school math they won’t need in their first-year programs anyway, according to new research on what it takes to be successful in community college.
Colleges nationwide have been looking for ways to reduce the high numbers of students who must take English or math classes to meet prerequisites. Colleges generally require incoming students to take placement tests in English and math, and the failure rates are high. A survey last year found that on average, 52 percent of students entering two-year colleges had to take remedial classes.
via Remedial math classes unnecessary at community college level, study says.
Student enrollment rates in California’s community colleges have dropped to a 20-year low in the wake of unprecedented cuts in state funding. Colleges have reduced staff, cut courses, and increased class sizes—all of which have led to declines in student access.
This research was supported with funding from the Donald Bren Foundation, the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, and The James Irvine Foundation.
via PUBLICATION: The Impact of Budget Cuts on California’s Community Colleges.
Continuous budget cuts have taken their toll on community colleges, resulting in a 20-year low in student enrollment, according to a new Public Policy Institute of California report.
Since the so-called Great Recession began in 2007, California’s community college system has sustained $1.5 billion in cuts, which has resulted in reductions in faculty and course offerings, according to the report, “The Impact of Budget Cuts on California’s Community Colleges.”
via Community college enrollment falling in California.
By John Fensterwald
Even though there are more potential students who should be served by community colleges, “funding shortfalls throughout the community college system have led to significant reductions in staff, considerably fewer course offerings, and severely restricted enrollment,” write the researchers of “Impact of Budget Cuts on the California Community Colleges,” which was released on Monday.
A decline of 24 percent in per-student funding over five years has led to a record decline in access to community colleges and has jeopardized the services to those students who are enrolled, an extensive study by the Public Policy Institute of California concluded.
via Budget cuts create unprecedented stress on community colleges – by John Fensterwald.
In a clear message to Gov. Jerry Brown, an Assembly subcommittee voted unanimously Tuesday to reject his proposal to shift responsibility for adult education programs from K-12 districts to community colleges.
The bipartisan 4-0 vote, with one subcommittee member absent, followed a flurry of pink slips issued by school districts to adult educators last week.
via Assembly committee rejects moving adult ed to community colleges – by Susan Frey.
The state Education Code makes it all but impossible for districts to achieve cost savings right away by merging operations.
Take the Napa Valley, Solano and Contra Costa community college districts, which together oversee five colleges. The district offices are within 15 to 25 miles of each other.
Combined, they serve about 81,000 students – fewer than at City College of San Francisco.
via State’s community colleges spend millions on duplicative ….