The issue in the Los Angeles Community College District fiasco is financial mismanagement.
Monroe Richman, president of the LACCD board of trustees, hit the nail on the head when, in The Times article on Chancellor Koltai, he called the chancellor a second-rate financial administrator. The layoffs, potential layoffs, and furloughs without pay this year are the results of a lack of good management for the last three or four years.
The district has been aware for many years that the number of high school students was going to drop. The district also knew, from past experience, that enrollment decreases when the economy improves. This knowledge coupled with the district's decision to start the fall semester in August and the imposition by the state of a $50 fee for students taking six units or more added up to a clear signal that attendance would drop severely.
Funding for the district is based primarily on average daily attendance. Thus, if attendance goes down, funding goes down. What then would one expect a district to do in such a circumstance?