Wednesday, March 16, 2011

2011-03-16 "SCC plans budget cuts" by Vonique Stricklen from "Solano Tempest" newspaper
During a February campus budget forum Solano Community College's vice president of finance and administration Yulian Ligoso broke down three scenarios proposed by the Community College League of California. Of those three scenarios SCC decided to adopt the league's mid-range scenario in order to make plans for the future, Ligioso said.
"As a system we have seen the deterioration of the state budget for the last three years," Ligioso said. "I don't think we've ever seen it to this magnitude."
With Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to balance the state's budget, higher education is facing further cuts. Last week an effort to place a tax extension proposition on the ballot stalled in Sacramento.
"This tax extension is probably the most significant item we as a system… ever had to face," said Ligioso.
SCC's mid-range scenario assumes the tax package fails during the June vote but Prop 98 is still funded minimally. Fees will still increase from $26 to $36 per unit to offset losses of revenue and SCC will plan for a loss of an estimated 1,000 students.
"We're not trying to deter students from coming. We're trying to communicate to the legislature that … if they don't adopt this balanced approach … not just Solano College but all colleges, will likely not be in a position to continue to offer access in the quality of education that we have," said Ligioso.
Ligioso added that if the tax packet doesn't go through it could translate into a 15 percent reduction in revenue.
"I think that might bankrupt a lot of colleges," said Ligioso.
In an effort to showcase the success of California community college students the League of California marched into Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto, Visalia, and Riverside legislative offices on March 4 with framed diplomas of alumni now attending law school.
Once the league's package is on the ballot then the voters need to support it Ligioso said.
"Talk to your friends, your family, and legislatures," Ligioso said. "Share your success stories, share how the community college education has so positively affected you."
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