College trustees get greedy, even as their failures mount

Two of our hottest stories this month have involved our community colleges. The administrators at Santa Ana College are in hot water because they allowed their fire alarms and fire suppression systems to remain in disrepair since 2005, until student reporters at SAC found out about this fiasco. And over at Golden West College, administrators are teaming with the City of Huntington Beach to build a Costco on the campus.

Those stories come on the heels of revelations that the Rancho Santiago Community College District blew $30 million on the Carona Sheriff Training Facility, while forgetting to build a new math/science building at Santa Ana College.

With all that in mind, the timing is not good for the proponents of Proposition 92, a “ballot initiative that would cut community college fees by 25 percent and provide a guaranteed level of funding for the state’s 109 two-year colleges,” according to the O.C. Register.

Here are some excerpts from the Register’s article:

Few of the system’s allies in higher education are supporting the measure,expressing concerns that building such funding guarantees in the state Constitution could take money out of the state budget that would otherwise go elsewhere.

Most recently, University of California regents voted Nov. 15 to oppose it.

The California Faculty Association, which represents instructors at the California State University system, is among unions opposing the measure, which will appear on the February primary ballot.

“It’s a simple question of diluting the resources available for public higher education,” said CFA President John Travis, a political science professor at Humboldt State University.

Travis said the measure, if passed, could “take $460 million to $470 million out of the state general fund” over the next few years. “That’s got to come from somewhere, and in the past it’s come from CSU.”

A preliminary look at next year’s state budget already shows that California will be billions of dollars in the red.

Some K-12 groups also oppose the initiative, based on the idea that it could cut into the amount of money that Prop. 98 guarantees them.

And the California Teachers Association and California Taxpayers Association have come out against the measure.

Prop. 92 is supported by Mary Hornbuckle and Walter Howald of the Coast Community College District. I wonder if they will also vote to build a Costco on the Golden West College Campus? Aside from them, the measure has few endorsements that matter.

I personally plan to oppose this measure, in part because it guarantees “community colleges a fixed portion of the state budget, based on the number of young adults and unemployment rates in California, rather than enrollment.” That is dishonest to say the least!

It does not make sense to me to hamstring the California budget when it is already bleeding red ink. Community Colleges have already raked in MILLIONS in bond measures over the past few years, and we have seen them blow that money locally on the Carona Sheriff Training Facility and on a stupid PLA (project labor agreement) that forced the Rancho Santiago Community College District to use union contractors only on their bond projects. The PLA raised their costs, reduced bidders, and slowed down construction. What a joke!

The opponents of Prop. 92 already have a website up. You can join them at this link. Click here for a list of those who oppose Prop. 92. They include the California Republican Assembly and the San Francisco Democratic Party. Now there’s a diverse coalition!

The California Chamber of Commerce is also opposing Prop. 92. And you can read the official ballot statements in support of and in opposition to Prop. 92 at this link.

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.