PCC says community colleges would take major hit if Gov. Brown's proposed budget passes

Kate Brown celebrates after winning the Oregon gubernatorial race on Nov. 6, 2018. KATU photo

SALEM, Ore. - Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s two proposed budgets have major implications for the state’s community colleges, according to Portland Community College.

The governor’s “base budget” recommendation allocates $543 million for the Community College Support Fund, which would create deep cuts in community college funding. The “investment budget” recommends $646.7 million.

“Of deep concern is the lack of a guarantee that the state will be able to raise revenue to support the Governor’s proposed investment budget,” PCC wrote in a statement. “both budget scenarios are significantly lower than the level being requested by the Oregon Community College Association’s Board of Directors, in partnership with the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.”

Oregon Community College Association is advocating for $787 million in the Community College Support Fund.

“While the ‘Investment Budget’ puts colleges on a solid footing and invests in expanding Career and Technical programs, the ‘Base Budget’ funding level would be devastating to Oregon’s Community colleges and the Oregonians we serve,” said Cam Preus, OCCA’s Executive Director. “Colleges would have no choice but to make deep program cuts along with double digit tuition increases.”

PCC President Mark Mitsui says the budget gut would impact students the most, limiting their access to higher education. He says if the base budget is approved, thousands of underrepresented and first-generation college students would suffer.

Brown released her $23.6 billion budget proposal Wednesday. She says she wants to boost education funding, push campaign finance reform, ensure continued access to health insurance coverage and fund legal counseling for immigrants facing deportation.

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