About Proposition 30
On behalf of Dr. Nish, I am happy to report that Proposition 30 has passed.
Thank you for all your help in providing information to your families, friends and especially our students. Your efforts helped push the measure over the top. There is much to celebrate, as this is the first time in 20 years that a general tax measure has been approved by California voters. We can also congratulate our students. Young people were a key demographic in helping pass the measure. Exit polls suggest that 28% of yesterday’s electorate in California were 18 to 29-year-olds.
While the passage of Prop. 30 means there will not be additional crippling cuts to California higher education, Southwestern College still faces a structural deficit. We still face tough decisions. To renew our conversation on the impact of Proposition 30, the Shared Consultation Council held an open forum Wednesday, Nov. 7 to discuss the budget scenario now that the proposition has passed. Details of the conversation will be included in the Nov. 13 Superintendent/President column.
Lillian E. Leopold, APR
Chief Public Information & Government Relations Officer
The November election presents voters with important decisions. In addition to deciding who should be president, California voters will be asked to decide on Proposition 30, an initiative sponsored by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Proposition 30 asks voters to temporarily increase the statewide sales tax by a quarter of a percent (0.25%) and increase income taxes for those Californians who earn more than $250,000. State lawmakers included expected revenues from Proposition 30 in the 2012-13 budget adopted in July. That included funding for the California Community College system.
California community colleges are the largest provider of workforce training in the state and nation. Yet, since 2008-09 the system has been cut by $809 million. Colleges could be cut by another $338 million in January 2013 if Proposition 30 does not pass.
Southwestern College leaders, faculty and staff have pulled together to meet these economic challenges. While employees are doing their fair share and taking a 5% pay reduction, budget cuts are now impacting our students' ability to enroll in the classes they need to fulfill their educational goals.
2012-2013 Budget reductions
- 5% salary reduction for all employees, including Superintendent/President and Governing Board for a targeted savings of $3.1 million
- 5% reduction in supplies for a targeted savings of $500,000
- $1 million reduction in part time overload budget
- Reduced district reserve from 7% to 5% for an estimated savings of $1.7 million
How have the budget reductions affected Southwestern College?
- Reduced student services
- Reduced class sections
- Reduced counseling hours
The Southwestern College Governing Board has endorsed Prop. 30 through a resolution adopted at their Sept. 12, 2012 meeting (under Board Policy No. 2716). They noted that if the proposition fails, Southwestern College would be forced to eliminate an additional $4.8 million from the general fund, including a reduction in workload (enrollment) by 7.3%.
Community Colleges' Mission
California Community Colleges have an open admission policy, meaning they accept all residents who have a high school diploma or equivalent and anybody over the age of 18 who can benefit from postsecondary education.
The three primary areas of the California Community College mission are education for university transfer; career technical education; and basic skills.
This chart shows how per-unit fees have risen since they were first charged during the 1983-84 academic year.
Campaigns for and against Prop. 30 have been organized. There are links below for voters to gather additional information from proponents and opponents.
The college and its employees are prohibited by law from using state resources, time or equipment to lobby either for or against any ballot measure. The college can, however, share factual information about a ballot measure's impact on Southwestern College.
- Proposition 30 Fact Sheet — Southwestern College
- Proposition 30 Forum, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 — Southwestern College
- SWC Academic Senate Resolution Supporting Proposition 30 -- SWC Academic Senate
- Proposition 30 Official Title and Summary — California Secretary of State
- League of Women Voters Quick Guide to the General Election (PDF)
- Southwestern College Governing Board Approves Budget; Endorses resolution in support of Proposition 30 — News release (PDF)
- Southwestern Community College District Resolution Supporting Proposition 30 (PDF)
- Key Facts About the Impact of Budget Cuts on the California Community Colleges & Value of the System to California — California Community Colleges Office
- Southwestern Community College District Policy on Political Activity (PDF)
The State of California now allows voters to register online as well as by using a printed form. The registration deadline is 15 days before the election, or midnight Oct. 22, 2012 for the Nov. 6, 2012 election.