Local News

Feb 3, 2011 10:02 PM by Ariel Wesler

College could face record budget crunch

Tough times for Allan Hancock College. The school could face one of the worst budget crunches in its history if a plan by Governor Jerry Brown goes through.

Hancock is just one of many community colleges that could be hit hard by the governor's proposed budget cuts. If the current proposal passes, tuition would increase by 10 dollars a unit and more classes would likely be on the chopping block. he changes would take effect in the upcoming school year.

"There's a best case and a worst case and the best case is not very good," said Rebecca Alarcio with Allan Hancock College Public Affairs.

At best, Allan Hancock College would lose $4 million in state funding. The worst? $8 million. The school has been looking at ways to cut back.

"For the last several years, we have consistently been cutting so this is not starting off with a status quo," Alarcio said. "There are no ways to trim the fat. There is no fat."

More than 80 percent of its budget goes to salaries and benefits.

"They don't offer some of the classes they used to offer, so in some instances, some people's transfer opportunities are hindered," said ASBG President Eddie Triste.

Less than two years ago, he and others students were paying $20 a unit. Now, they're paying $26 a unit and could be paying $36 a unit by the fall.

60 percent of the students already receives financial aid.

The school says those students should will continue receiving it and with higher fees, those who did not qualify may now be eligible.

"If they're going to continue to raise it, where does that leave us?" Triste said.

The college says at this point, the budget picture hinges on whether the governor can get his tax extension on the June ballot and then get voters to pass it. Community colleges are preparing to face three more bad years.

We also checked in with Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. It is also expecting the same cuts in funding.

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