" What the governor's considering now, it's a huge impact on us" said Chico State Public Affairs Director Joe Will. Newly inaugurated Governor Jerry Brown's budget proposal includes slashing more than 1-billion dollars from Califonia's public higher education system. The proposed budget would cut 500-million from both California's UC's and CSU's, and another 400-million from the state's community colleges. " Something like this affects everyone, it affects faculty and staff, of course it affects the students, we've had to raise fees for students and it could happen again." said Wills.
Chico State has seen steady cut's to it's budget over the last few years. As a result the university has had to implement furloughs, faculty lay-offs and hikes in it's tuition. Since fall of 2010, CSU students have seen a 15 percent increase in what they pay. " Looking forward to next year, unfortunately all of those things are possibilities" explained Wills.
Chico State has also had to limit it's enrollment. The campus estimates current spring enrollment at 15,200, down from last years nearly 16,000 students. Students say they are feeling the budget's impact. " Budget decreases are making it a lot harder for a lot of students to go to college, a lot of people are just dropping out cause they can't afford it" said Chico State Student Brittany Perkins. K.C. Piercy, also a Chico State Student added " The price is a lot ad for a lot of kids that want to go to college, the loans they have to put out, they're gonna be paying for it years and years down the road".
Colleges are at a stand still for now waiting to see if the governor's proposed budget is approved, something that should be decided by late June. Many are preparing for the worst. " We would have to consider every way to try and do more with less" said Wills.
Even though community colleges are also on the chopping block for budget cuts, Butte College says it has seen a 4 percent increase in full time student enrollment since last year.