Budget Statement from the President, May 2011 - Ohlone College President's Office

State Cuts Ohlone's Budget

Ohlone has been hit with drastic budget cuts from the State of California for the third year in a row. This has had a severe impact on the number of classes we are offering for Summer 2011 term and Fall 2011 semester.

We want our students and the community to understand how cuts to Ohlone's budget have forced us to reduce the number of courses we can offer.

Budget Cuts = Cuts in Classes

The State of California has imposed cuts to the operating budgets of all the community colleges across the state. Because we are funded by budget money allocated to us by the state not by student fees[1], we base our enrollment numbers on what the state directs. This is called our enrollment cap—the maximum number of students we can enroll.

In good budget years, the state allows us to keep our enrollment numbers the same, so we offer the same number of courses from semester to semester.

Currently, the state is imposing severe budget cuts and lowering our enrollment cap. Instead of offering the same number of courses each semester, we have to offer fewer courses and enroll fewer students. The same cuts are happening at all the community colleges throughout California.

50% Fewer Classes Offered for Summer Term

At Ohlone, we chose to reduce the impact of enrollment cuts for fall and spring, when the majority of our students are in college. This meant that we would offer a very small Summer 2011 term—50% smaller than last year (last year: 140 courses; this year: 70 courses).

We are still reducing Fall 2011 by 5% and Spring 2012 by 10%, but the major cuts are in Summer 2011.

Because of the steep reduction in summer classes and although continuing student registration has been open only a few days, we are already essentially full for the Summer 2011 term—even though new student registration does not begin until May 23.

Future Budget Concerns

We will continue to feel the pinch in our budget while the State of California continues to struggle with balancing its budget amidst falling state revenues.

However, we will persist in serving our students and the community by offering high quality and affordable education to as many students as we can.

Gari Browning, Ph.D.
President/Superintendent
Ohlone Community College District
Date: May 4, 2011

Quick Funding Facts for Students

Ohlone College, like all community colleges in California, is funded primarily by the State budget. The number of students colleges can enroll is directed by State funding; this is called a college’s “Enrollment Cap.”

When the State cuts community college budgets it does so by lowering “Enrollment Caps.” This then dictates how many courses colleges can offer.

The amount of tuition charged per credit hour is set by the State. The current $36 per unit tuition represents less than 10% of the actual cost of the instruction provided.

Community colleges cannot charge more for tuition for resident students. Colleges do not keep the money paid by students; those funds are sent to the State.

The funds from the recent Measure G Bond passed by the voters are specifically limited to improving facilities, and there is a 15-year plan for these projects. Bond funds cannot be used to fund additional course offerings.

California State Senator

Member: Corbett, Ellen, State Senate District #10.

Contact Information for Senator Ellen Corbett
Local Offices Capitol Office
1057 MacArthur Blvd.
San Leandro, CA 94577
(510) 577-2310
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA
94248-0001
(916) 651-4010
39155 Liberty Street
Suite F610
Fremont, CA 94538
(510) 794-3900

California State Assembly Member

Member: Wieckowski, Bob, State Assembly District #20.

Contact Information for Bob Wieckowski
Local Offices Capitol Office
39510 Paseo Padre Parkway
Suite 280
Fremont, CA 94538
(510) 440-9030
State Capitol
Room 4162
Sacramento, CA
94249-0020
(916) 319-2020

[1]Student fees are determined by the State of California. The state raised fees from $26 per unit to $36 per unit effective the Fall 2011 semester. This does not increase Ohlone’s budget, however, since the fees are paid directly to the state, which in turn “reimburses” us based on our enrollment cap.