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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Chancellor talks about district’s grim future

Helen Benjamin, district chancellor (Chris Corbin/The Inquirer)

During their regular presentation on the state of the upcoming budget, Helen Benjamin, chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District and Vice Chancellor Kindred Murillo informed the DVC faculty that the upcoming budget cuts will result in more job losses, fewer programs, and will decrease the number of students the district will be able to serve.

Dubbed by Benjamin as “A Critical and Courageous Conversation,” the district’s Jan 27 presentation outlined a grim picture not only for the district, but the California community college system as a whole. Current plans being submitted by the state government have the system taking a $400 million reduction in apportionment statewide.

While planning the next year’s budget, the district came up with three scenarios to base their calculations on, taking into account the possibility of Governor Jerry Brown’s tax increase either passing or not, and whether Prop 98 – which dedicates at least 40 percent of the state budget to K-14 education – will be suspended or not.

Even in the best case scenario, if the tax increase passes and Prop 98 stays in effect, the district will still take a loss of $10.2 million, and in the worst case scenario, the statewide reduction would balloon to $899 million, and the district’s losses would climb to $21.5 million.

The district, Benjamin said, had chosen the “in-between” scenario to base their calculations off of, assuming that the tax increase would fail but prop 98 would not be suspended, and the district would take a $15.8 million reduction.

To offset this budget cut, which is roughly equal to the losses of the last two years combined, the districts plans involve reducing workforce, course schedules, and operating budgets, as well as consolidating and eliminating programs and services.

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About the Contributor
Scott Baba
Scott Baba, Opinion editor
Opinion editor, spring 2011. Staff member, spring and fall 2010.

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Chancellor talks about district’s grim future