The California Community Colleges, bolstered by voters' passage of Proposition 30 last year, are beginning to see increased enrollment and the restoration of class sections after years of state-budget cuts caused declines in both areas, according to the results of a systemwide survey.
Proposition 30, approved last November, triggered slight rises in the state's sales tax and income tax for top earners. The ballot measure gave the community colleges, the country's largest system of its kind, an extra $210-million in the 2012-13 state budget and an extra $600-million in the 2013-14 budget.
That windfall has resulted in a projected median enrollment increase this fall of 2.5 percent across the system, along with a 5-percent increase in course sections offered, according to a news release summarizing the survey results that was issued by the system chancellor's office on Wednesday.
Last year enrollment fell by 4.8 percent and course offerings by 3.3 percent, according to the release.
"This survey shows we are on the mend, but we have a lot more work to do to get back to the level of service we offered before the recession hit," said the chancellor, Brice W. Harris, in the release.
State support for the community colleges was cut by $1.5-billion from the 2007-8 to the 2011-12 fiscal years, according to the release. That resulted in a 24-percent decline in course offerings for the same period and an enrollment drop of about 600,000 students from 2007-8 to 2012-13.
The survey went out to the system's 122 community colleges, 95 of which responded.