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COVID-19 & Education: California Community Colleges Finance Head Addresses State Budget Cuts To Education Funding

A view of the Pasadena City College campus.
A view of the Pasadena City College campus.

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With more than 2 million students at over 100 campuses across the Golden State, The California Community Colleges System bills itself as the largest higher education system in the country.

Just like the other major college systems in the state, the CCCS faces deep cuts to its funding from the state. According to EdSource, the community colleges would require $1 billion to offset those cuts. This comes as CCCS Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley announced earlier this week that the community colleges would hold classes online at all campuses for the fall semester. “We understand California’s difficult fiscal condition resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Chancellor Oakley said in a statement last week responding to the cuts, “and we will work collaboratively with Gov. Newsom, the Legislature and our campus leaders to get through this crisis. We will look for ways to mitigate the impact to California community colleges and seek flexibility to manage our response to best serve students. We also support our California Congressional delegation in seeking additional federal assistance to help the most vulnerable in our state. Community colleges are at the vanguard for preparing nurses, first responders and essential workers who are on the front lines of protecting public health.”

Today on AirTalk, we’ll continue our series of interviews with leaders of California’s educational institutes by talking to the head of finance for the California Community Colleges System about the challenges it faces with the looming budget cuts, what it portends for the ability of the system to resume in-person classes and the potential short and long-term impact on students, faculty and staff.


Lizette Navarette, vice chancellor of college finance and facilities planning for the California Community Colleges; which serves 2.1 million students at 115 colleges across California; she tweets @liznavarette

Greg Schulz, president of Fullerton College in Fullerton, part of the California Community Colleges System