2:29 p.m. February 23, 2006
HOWARD LIPIN / Union-Tribune
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger talks with San Diego City
College Professor of Machine Technology Jack Bollinger while visiting a
computer-aided manufacturing class there Thursday.
SAN DIEGO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger toured San Diego City College Thursday
and announced his plans to give $130 million to community colleges in less
The funds proposed in Schwarzenegger's budget expand on $80 million
that was provided in 2004 and $30 million in 2005. It is in addition to
his strategic growth plan, a proposed ballot measure that would provide
a total of $3.767 billion for California Community Colleges over a 10-year
“I'm a big believer in city colleges and community colleges,” Schwarzenegger
told about 50 San Diego Community College District officials and news media
representatives inside a classroom at the college. “I'm actually a product
of a city college. It's had a tremendous effect on me.”
His proposed budget will give several dozen community colleges, such
as those in San Diego County's districts, money that they otherwise would
not have received because the areas around them generate lower property
tax levels than rich areas, Schwarzenegger said.
San Diego City College is to receive $3.67 million in equalization funding,
according to the governor's budget, which has yet to be approved by the
money is to be used in conjunction with funds allocated to the district
in the past two years to offer intersession classes between the fall and
spring semester. It will also help add more class sections and 100 new
full-time faculty, said San Diego Community College District Chancellor
Constance M. Carroll.
Southwestern Community College District is to receive $3.2 million for
more staff and also to expand such programs as nursing, dental hygiene
and paramedic training, said Scott Himelstein, the governor's deputy secretary
Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District will receive $3.1 million
for more classrooms and a newly constructed science building.
Palomar and Mira Costa community colleges will also benefit from the
funds, though the amounts were not specified.
Representatives from all the districts, including trustee members and
presidents, applauded Schwarzenegger's announcements and greeted him with
a standing ovation while a few dozen students yelled in protest, demanding
more funds for public education.
Carroll said equalizing state funding for community colleges was something
college officials have been pressing for three decades without success
The equalization funds stem from Schwarzenegger's 2004 settlement of
a class-action lawsuit that had been filed against the state over the poor
condition of some inner-city schools. He said Thursday that he preferred
to put the money spent fighting the lawsuit back into the education system.
His budget also contains $491.7 million for proposed bonds for the construction
and renovation of schools. That money is to be used to correct seismic
deficiencies, upgrade libraries and build new classrooms and laboratories.
“Graduation just got closer for our students,” Carroll said.
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