Local Community Colleges Facing More Cuts

If Governor's Tax Measure Fails In November, County Community Colleges May Lose $27 Million

Community colleges across California have already taken a hit of almost $1 billion in the last four years and now, they face more cuts.

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Cody Dean is about to complete his second year at Palomar Community College. He will be transferring to UC Berkeley in the fall and wants to be a politician.

"I would not be able to follow my dreams and for a lot of students, it's impossible to follow their dreams without community college," said Dean.

Dean is one of 220,000 community college students in San Diego County. Any budget cuts to education could slow him and students all over California down.

Governor Jerry Brown's May budget revision includes an initiative on the November ballot that would let voters decide whether to raise the sales tax one-quarter cent for four years and a personal income tax increase on those making more than $250,000 a year for seven years.

Much of the money would help community colleges that have already taken a hit of $800 million since 2008.

If tax measure passes, the five community college districts in San Diego will gain $28 million. But if tax measure fails, the county community colleges will lose $27 million and the San Diego Community College District estimates a decrease in almost 6,000 full-time equivalent students next year.

"It's a tragic situation when we're already oversubscribed, already turning students away." said Dr. Constance Carroll, the chancellor for the San Diego Community College District.

According to an exclusive scientific 10News poll, a majority of the people – 54 percent – support the tax.

"This is something for the voters, so obviously Governor Brown isn't going to stamp it and it's done," said Dean.

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