Whereas, Recent budgetary cutbacks have forced many colleges and districts to reduce their course and program offerings significantly, and, in some cases, rapidly, which, if not done thoughtfully and strategically, may lead to a curriculum that is unbalanced and misaligned with community needs and statewide mission directives;
Whereas, Given the current community college funding model in California in which districts receive apportionment at the same rate for all students, regardless of the underlying costs of particular courses or programs in which they enroll, or the level of student support services needed for each program, it may be tempting for community college districts facing a budgetary crisis to reduce programs with high operational costs such as specialized laboratory classes in science or career technical education (CTE) with externally mandated, or those requiring low enrollment caps such as basic skills or high equipment costs as a way to save money and maintain other programs;
Whereas, Statewide data from the Management Information System (MIS) Datamart indicates that the percentage of Full-Time Equivalent Student (FTES) for CTE programs has declined in the last 10 years from 33% to 31% (and this data does not include the recent drastic reductions imposed by numerous districts in the last two years), suggesting an unintended and possibly undesirous shift in mission-effort that needs further research and informed system-wide decision-making that colleges and districts may indeed be unbalancing their curricular offerings by reducing or eliminating high cost CTE programs in an effort to save money and serve the most students; and
Whereas, The current community college funding formula with equal apportionment funding for students in all courses and programs, regardless of cost to offer and serve students, may not promote short- and long-term local choices that best serve the interests of our communities, regions and the State and force districts to pit some programs against others in terms of their cost to the district rather than their value to the community;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges initiate and promote a system-wide conversation about funding formulas and other system policies that impact colleges’ and districts’ ability to offer a balanced, comprehensive set of course and program offerings that meet the needs of local communities and is consistent with the mission of California community colleges.