Funds from the parcel tax will provide Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College, Los Medanos College, Brentwood Center and the San Ramon Campus with additional financial resources to maintain quality higher education, support course offerings and instructional programs, and increase access to support services. No funds will be used for administrative salaries.
“These are precarious times, and we must take steps like this to continue to provide affordable and quality higher education for our community,” said board President Tomi Van de Brooke. “It is important to note that not one dollar from this measure can be taken by the State of California. All funds would stay in Contra Costa County to support our local students.”
During the past four fiscal years, the district has experienced a reduction of more than $21 million in state apportionment funding. Course offerings and student services have decreased, a number of employees have been laid off or experienced a reduction in hours, and district reserves have been used in order to downsize the organization. As a result, approximately 4,600 students were not being served by the district during the 2011-12 academic year.
“Passage of the parcel tax will help the district bridge the financial gap caused by years of reductions in state funding and a precarious budget climate in the near future,” said District Chancellor Helen Benjamin. “We hope county voters will value the work we do in preparing students for transfer to a four-year institution, and educating students to qualify for 21st-century jobs, as an investment worthy of their support.”
Once the parcel tax measure is approved, the district will create an independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee to monitor all expenditures and ensure proper stewardship of these public funds.
The Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) is one of the largest multi-college community college districts in California, serving a population of 1,019,640. Its boundaries encompass all but 48 of the 734-square-mile land area of Contra Costa County. The district is home to Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, as well as educational centers in Brentwood and San Ramon. District headquarters is located in downtown Martinez.