2005 Task Force Report


In an effort to develop strategies for addressing the challenges of the future for California Community Colleges, the Board of Governors and the Chancellor created a task force within the consultation process to recommend actions necessary from now until the year 2005. The task force developed the 2005 Task Force Report which is a compilation of four papers prepared by Chancellor's staff and research from other agencies such as CPEC and RAND. The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges was represented by Janis Perry, Past President, and Linda Collins, Secretary, on the task force. Points highlighted in this article are taken from the report. The Executive Committee of the Academic Senate has voted to support the draft report at their regular meeting in September 1997. The following points were made in the report:

"Tidal Wave II" estimates are that an additional 400,000 students will attend community colleges by the year 2005.

The Rand study points out that the real earnings of workers with only a high school education will be about 40% less in the year 2015 as compared to their counterparts in 1976.

When population projections are combined with the declining postsecondary education participation rates among some ethnic minority groups in California, the likelihood of a polarized economic and social order in California is increased.

The CSU system has adopted a policy that reduces its remediation function, which will likely direct more postsecondary remediation to the community colleges. If UC and CSU attempt to increase upper division access, more lower division requirements will be shifted to the community colleges.

Major welfare reform being implemented by the federal and state governments impacts the role of community colleges in helping welfare recipients make the transition to family-supporting work.

In 1996, legislation was passed adding economic development to the community college mission statement. There is an increasing trend for community colleges to develop partnership programs with business and industry to provide continuing education for the currently-employed workforce.

While immigrants comprise nearly 20% of California's population, they represent nearly 50% of the population growth between now and 2005. The rising number of immigrants, particularly from countries with lower per capita educational levels, increases the need for ESL and basic skills development.

The Community College participation rate of African-American males was cut in half between 1977 and 1995 while the rate for African-American females dropped by nearly one-third.

Another cause of concern is the low participation rates of Hispanic students when compared with other ethnic populations.

Accommodating the "Tidal Wave II" increase in the 18-24 year old cohort along with a modest correction in the participation rates of African-American and Hispanic adults will require an increase of 10 "points" to a participation rate of 68 per 1,000 adults.

While analyzing long-term postsecondary education needs, the state must also consider the immense costs from not addressing the educational and training needs of the state. Low levels of education for the populace mean increased expenditure for welfare, unemployment and incarceration. From 1975 to 1995, as community college participation rates decreased from 88 to 58 per 1,000 adults, the incarceration rate increased from 92 to 392 per 100,000 adults. In addition, the cost to educate one community college student is $3,500 per year while the cost of incarceration of an individual is $23,500 per year.

In 1991, a long-range capital outlay community college growth plan was developed identifying the need for $3.2 billion by the year 2005, but this did not include the costs of new technology or new instructional delivery systems. CPEC projections for "Tidal Wave II indicate that 78% of the increased enrollments in post-secondary education will occur at the community college level.

State allocations to community colleges as compared with K12, UC and CSU demonstrates that community colleges would have needed to receive an additional $800 million in 1995 to equal the smallest of the cumulative increases in the other segments.
The percentage increase in community college funding is significantly less than other state general fund expenditure increases and net income of private corporations for that same period of time.

The community college system has not maintained its relative position from 1975 and is not receiving its fair share of state resources. Compared to other states, in 1994, California spent $3,554 per student while the national average was $6,022 per student.

Some revenue alternatives proposed are: 1. Institutionalize the Proposition 98 split. 2. Change laws governing local bond elections to allow for passage by majority vote and allow funds to be used to equip buildings as well as construct them. 3. Constrain student fees in a manner that is moderate. 4. Increase the number of publicprivate partnerships. 5. Change federal regulations to insure California receives its fair share of federal revenue. 6. Introduce a change in existing tax laws to provide for a tax increase with the funds dedicated to all levels of public education.