ERIC Number: ED433857
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
California Community Colleges: Coping with Tax Reductions.
Tollefson, Terrence A.
This paper examines the financial problems of California's community colleges caused by reduced local property tax support. In 1978 California voters enacted Proposition 13, a constitutional amendment that reduced taxes on real estate. The proposition's immediate effect on community college funding was a statewide, fifty-percent reduction in local property tax support. This cut in support caused financial problems in California community colleges and public schools, and led to voter enactment of Proposition 98 in 1988, which set the minimum percentage share of state general-fund appropriations to K-14 schools at approximately 40 percent. The split between public schools and community colleges was not specified in the proposition, however, and the result was continuing competition between these two sectors. This struggle was perceived as being financially detrimental to community colleges, and consequently, the state again increased appropriations. This "roller coaster" of funding experienced by community colleges has led to the elimination of thousands of class sections, thereby increasing class sizes. A study for the California Postsecondary Education Commission recommended restricting the mission of the California community colleges to college transfer and occupational education, eliminating remedial education and English as a Second Language programs. According to one observer, financial and enrollment problems appear to have been compounded due to the limitations of offering only associate in arts degrees, and to the discouragement of many adults attempting to enroll in course sections that are canceled. (AS)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Proposition 13 (California 1978)