Unless the state's revenue picture changes dramatically in the next few months, California community colleges can expect a new $149 million punch in the gut this year, college leaders said Tuesday.
They blamed the state for incorrectly estimating the amount of property tax money available for community colleges, as well as the number of students who qualify for free tuition.
The anticipated cuts - dubbed the "February Surprise" by the Community College League of California, which lobbies for the colleges - would bring their budget reductions to a total of $564 million for the 2011-12 fiscal year alone, the group said. The state has not announced any new, midyear cuts.
"Because of the poor economy, we've seen a dramatic increase in the number of students receiving" fee waivers, said Jack Scott, chancellor of the 112-college system.