Community colleges in the Golden State finally have a projected budget for the next year. Although the budget isn’t good, leaders at College of the Desert say they’re lucky compared to many other colleges and kindergarten-through-12th grade schools.
Educators at COD have mixed feeling about their financial future. They finally have a projected budget and funds weren’t cut, but the college needs more money.
“It’s better than expected but it’s not adequate at all,” says John Randall, COD Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs.
The budget for the next 18 months is stagnant. COD gets nothing less or more than last year when it comes to money, but they will get more students. As universities throughout the state turn students away, more end up at community colleges. COD’s enrollment increased 16 percent this Spring and it will likely continue.
“We have more people wanting to come to community college,” says Randall.
The biggest problem for COD is that the budget is not keeping up with growth. Classrooms are full and enrollment is soaring, but the budget is dwindling.
“We’re gonna turn away some students, everyone can’t take every class they want,” says Randall.
Educators are trying to meet the needs of the community while stretching the minimal funds. This means fuller classrooms.
COD leaders say they are thankful this is their biggest sacrifice. Many other Golden State institutions are sacrificing quality by cutting classes, sessions, and employees.
“The state is in the worst financial state it has been in,” says Randall.
Now, educators can only hope the state’s budget situation improves, so community colleges can do the same.
“More money, show me the money,” says Randall.
For more information on how the education system is being affected in California, click here.