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Calif. community colleges cutting enrollment

March 31, 2011 12:11:51 AM PDT
The 112-campus California Community Colleges system is facing an $800-million cut in funding for the coming school year due to the state budget crisis.

Chancellor Jack Scott said during a telephone news briefing Wednesday that community colleges funding cuts are tragic for students hoping to continue their education and transfer to universities.

California has the largest higher-education system in the world. And it's generally ranked as one of the best.

But if the maximum state budget cuts take effect, as many as 18 percent of students at Glendale Community College could join the 400,000 statewide not admitted to community college this year.

There are 112 community colleges statewide facing an $800-million reduction. They may cut summer and winter intercessions.

"Now we're to a point where we're going to have to cut classes, and we have agreed that we're going to make a decision about our summer intersession, as to whether we can or can't do it, by the week of April 18th," said Dawn Lindsay, Glendale Community College president.

Teachers are protected from the layoffs. The hundreds of non-teaching employees at the school are not.

"Classified employees and managers, definitely would be a possibility," said Ron Nakasone, Glendale Community College executive vice president of administrative services.

Nearly 3 million students are enrolled in state community colleges.

The proposed budget raises community college student fees from $26 to $36 per unit, but they could be raised higher if a budget compromise is not reached.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.