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President's Report Notes

September 6, 2007



Governor Schwarzenegger Vetoes $13.8 million  for Career Development and College Preparation and $33.1 million for “Basic Skills Initiative".

What I really learned from this report was how politicized and accountability-motivated the SLO effort really is.

Schwarzenegger's message, as quoted from a press release from the Community College League of California:

This afternoon, Governor Schwarzenegger signed the 2007-08 State Budget, which provides an ongoing increase of $377 million in Proposition 98 state general funds for our community colleges.

The League is very disappointed the Governor vetoed $13.8 million to provide a rate increase for Career Development and College Preparation and $33.1 million to support the “Basic Skills Initiative”. Both augmentations address long standing priorities of the system. The Governor’s veto message:

“I am reducing Schedule (1) by $13,786,000 and Schedule (2) by $33,110,000 to delete the legislative augmentations for a noncredit course rate increase and a basic skills student funding increase, respectively. However, I am setting these funds aside for legislation that appropriates these funds for improving outcomes for at-risk students in a manner more consistent with the priorities of my proposed Student Success Initiative ($33,110,000) and the remainder for other more compelling Proposition 98 funding needs.

The Legislature’s proposed $13,786,000 augmentation to support a second consecutive noncredit rate increase is premature and inconsistent with the agreement reached in last year’s compromise on Chapter 631, Statures of 2006 (SB 361). As part of that agreement, my Administration indicated that any future noncredit rate increase would be subject to improved student outcomes from last year’s initial investment of $30,000,000. To date, no accountability measures have been developed to evaluate this investment, nor has my Administration received a comprehensive list of courses and programs that have been approved by the Chancellor’s Office for funding from the 2006-07 increase. While I cannot sustain this augmentation, the budget does provide a 4.53-percent COLA, which, when combined with the ongoing $30,000,000 increase from 2006-07, provides for a 23-percent increase in per student funding for selected noncredit courses since the 2005-06 fiscal year.

I cannot support the Legislature’s $33,110,000 redirection of funds proposed for my May Revision’s Student Success Initiative because the accompanying control provisions do not contain the appropriate accountability and distribution mechanisms necessary to ensure this investment improves student outcomes, particularly for at-risk students transitioning from high schools. With this reduction, the community colleges still retain $33,110,000 in unspent current year funds that carryover for expenditure in the budget year to address strategies for improving basic skills instruction.

My Administration is prepared to work with the Chancellor’s Office to reinstate the ongoing funding pending agreement on revised accountability and distribution provisions that address my priority for improving meaningful outcomes for students transitioning from high school.”