June 03, 2020
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley issued the following statement on the budget agreement reached between the Assembly and Senate:
“While I understand the difficulties that the state’s budget deficit presents for policymakers, I am disappointed in the message that the Legislature’s Budget Proposal sends to the 2.1 million students of the California Community Colleges. Our students are the least resourced, the most impacted by COVID-19, and share the greatest burden in the economic crisis. Student basic needs should be part of any budget proposal being considered, including Calbright College. Asking the California Community Colleges to cannibalize some programs to save others is a choice that I reject. At this time of high unemployment, a public health crisis, and the acceleration of online and remote learning we need every teaching and learning tool available. I would note that a majority of the students we serve are people of color; with the nation rocked by protests calling for justice and an end to systemic racism, now is not the time to deny educational opportunities to our Black and Latinx learners. The millions of vulnerable workers in California need more access, not less, at this time of crisis. Furthermore, deferring more than $700 million in revenue in lieu of tangible and predictable budget adjustments sets up a very tenuous budget situation for our colleges. I urge the Legislature and the Governor to work on a budget resolution that preserves and supports all 115 colleges and that provides stability and predictability in revenues and expenditures.”
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 115 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.