District News Releases - Ohlone College President's Office

Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Office of Public Information
Ohlone Community College District

For Immediate Release:

Ohlone Board Supports Propositions 1A through 1F

Fremont, CA—The Ohlone College Board of Trustees voted unanimously in favor of a resolution supporting a “yes” vote on Propositions 1A through 1F in the State wide special election on May 19th. These propositions need to pass in order to generate short term revenues for the state that will help to stabilize current budgets and establish long term budget reforms.

It has long been recognized that the California community college system is the single largest workforce development agent in the state, enrolling 2.7 million students each year*. In times of economic downturn the role played by community colleges becomes all the more vital as unemployment rates continue to rise. The current unemployment rate is 11.2%, much higher than the national average of 8.9% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. California community college enrollments have been soaring, yet the state threatens to make budget cuts across all state agencies to make up for the budget deficit, which is estimated to be between $15 billion and $21 billion dollars.

Community colleges are funded by the state, not by the student fees that are collected at enrollment time. The state specifies how many students each community college can enroll. The colleges cannot raise additional funds by increasing their enrollment. On the contrary, the colleges lose money if they enroll more students than the state allows. When the state cuts the budget allotments to each college, the colleges are forced to cut back on the number of classes they offer. This has a boomerang effect of reducing the number of students who can enroll. In our current economy the demand for education is at its highest. Cutting back on the number of students who can enroll means that fewer people can get the education they need to get back to work or to begin their college career.

Reducing the spending on education may seem like a solution to state budget woes, but it will result in a devastating long term effect on the economy. Always a leader in innovation and emerging technologies, the Silicon Valley and surrounding region needs the community college system to remain strong and vibrant in order to build an educated work force and create long term growth that can help pull the state out of the current economic downturn.

The Ohlone College Board of Trustees joins many other education and service organizations around the state in supporting Propositions 1A through 1F.

For information about the Board of Trustees at Ohlone College please contact the Office of the President at 510.659.6200.

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