Proposition 92 would allocate 10.46% of state mandatory school funding towards community colleges. It would introduce a new formula to determine the amount of community college funding based on age growth rate and state unemployment rate. Student fees would also be lowered with limitations placed on the Legislature's ability to raise fees in the future.
Mandatory minimum education funding in California has been a part of the state budget the last twenty years. Proposition 98, passed in 1988, guarantees a minimum amount of state and property tax revenue each year for K-14 education (Kindergarten through Community College). The amount is based upon the fiscal health of the state's economy for a given year. The California community colleges system (CCC) has received approximately 10% of Prop. 98 funds in recent years.
Proposition 92, introduced in 2007, would allocate 10.46% of Prop. 98 funding towards community colleges. The initiative would change Prop. 98 by separating funding of K-12 and community colleges. Each system who have minimum funding formulas. The K-12 formula would maintain the current Prop. 98 formula. Prop. 92 would introduce a new formula for the community college system. Minimum funding would now depend on a growth factor based on the population of young adults, between the ages of 17 and 22 years or age and between 22 and 25 years of age respectively. The growth factor would also be tied to the state's unemployment rate. Student enrollment would not be a basis for community college system funding requirement under the proposition, unlike that of K-12 education.
Proposition 92 would also lower student fees, which have traditionally made up a small portion of education costs. The fees would drop from $20 to $15 a unit beginning in the fall of 2008. The proposition would limit any future fee increase brought about by the legislature by requiring a two-thirds vote of both the Assembly and the Senate. Additional limits would also be in place which would tie fee increases to percentage changes in per capital personal income in California.
Prop. 92 would amend the state constitution by naming the community college system as part of the state's public school system. The constitution has not formally recognized the community college system previously. The CCC has become a formal body based on legislation adopted over time. Prop. 92 would allow for more members in the CCC's Board of Governors. The BOG would also have more control over administering the statewide system.
- Alters state constitution to establish a system of community college districts and a board of governors.
- 10.46% of current Prop. 98 funding would be used for community colleges.
- Calculates minimum state funding levels seperately for K-12 education and community colleges.
- Establishes $15 fees per unit taken. Only cost of living increases could cause fees to be raised.
- Limits on Legislature's ability to raise fees in the future.
Arguments For and Against
Proponents of Prop. 92 believe that California community college system has been severely underfunded in past years. They claim that the initiative will finally provide a fair percentage of education funding to a system which serves 2.5 million students on 109 campuses. Supporters believe increased community college funding will mean more disadvantaged young adults will be able to receive a college education.
Critics argue that the state will be forced to use K-12 funds to cover increased spending under the initiative. Opposition groups believe that the legislature would have to fund the measure by cutting other programs like K-12 and state universities. They also believe that Prop. 92 does not provide adequate oversight for the CCC's Board of Governors, who, under the law, can set salaries and benefits independently. They oppose the proposition's lmitations on legislative actions to raise fees. Finally, critics say that California's community college fees are already the lowest in the nation and that the five dollar decrease is not needed.
Arguably two of the most powerful teacher groups in the state, The California Federation of Teachers union and the California Teacher's Association are in a rare disagreement over the initiative. The CFT supports the proposal, saying that altering Prop. 98 spending formula is the best way to mandate additional community college spending. The CTA believes the proposition will jeapordize K-12 funding which is already inadequate given the state's current and future budget deficit.
Official Voter Information
Analysis by Legislative Analyst's Office
Individual Campaign Committees Committees formed to support or oppose the ballot measure.
Key Websites and Links
Californians for Community Colleges
Reports and Studies
What Would Proposition 92 Mean for California? California Budget Project, December 2007.
Yes on Prop. 92. Youtube video channel