If approved, the cuts would result in class reductions, massive faculty and staff layoffs and halting expansion plans on most campuses. The action by the board represents the second straight year of spending cuts in the system that enrolled 115,000 students last fall.
Under the new figures, hardest hit would be Pierce College in Woodland Hills, where about half of the campus's 400 acres formerly used for the school's dwindling agricultural program stand vacant.
Fearing the district will sell the land to developers, Los Angeles Councilwoman Joy Picus and nearby residents long have campaigned for that part of the campus to remain open space.
But, said one district official, with a $2-million budget cut looming for the college, "there's no way they're going to be able to maintain that property."
"There are a lot of forces at work against us," Chancellor Donald Phelps told the board of trustees meeting Wednesday at Los Angeles City College.
To make matters worse, Yoneji said that under state law, the district must make up a $5.6-million budget shortfall for the current school year before it can receive any state revenues.
In developing the preliminary budget, Yoneji said he reduced the district's 1993-94 preliminary spending plan somewhat less than the 11.1% cut proposed by Wilson in his budget message earlier this month. He said he also anticipated a hike in student fees, despite this semester's increase of from $6 to $10 a unit for undergraduates and from $6 to $50 a unit for those with advanced degrees.
"This is not a worst-case scenario by any means," he said. "Things could get better. Hopefully, they won't get any worse."
Trustee Lindsay Conner noted that the governor indicated that if the state's community college districts chose to increase student fees to $30 a unit for undergraduates and to $150 a unit for students with bachelor's or more advanced degrees, the state decrease in funding might only be 6.4%.
"The governor is inviting us to increase fees," Conner said. "This is assuming that no one will leave because of the higher fees and that is an illogical assumption."
Phelps said he does not believe a fee increase "will be discretionary at the local level," but will be decided by the state Legislature.
Enrollment in the district is down 6% to 7% this year, Phelps said.
"We do believe it is in part due to the (tuition) increase to baccalaureate students," Phelps said.
Phelps predicted that state revenues will continue to shrink for higher education and that increased costs will be borne by the students. "There is an assumption that students can afford it," Phelps said.
"This is not a one-year hit," Yoneji agreed. "We're talking about a restructuring of our economy."
Phelps said Wilson does not see the relationship between the job training community colleges provide and the economy, noting that the governor proposed a 9% increase in funding for state prisons while cutting community colleges back 11.1%.
Since last spring's civil unrest in Los Angeles, "job training and retraining programs are needed more than ever," Conner said. "I don't see how anyone can understand the problems of Southern California and propose this kind of budget."
Phelps emphasized the proposed spending plan is "not ensconced in concrete. We need to begin the planning process."
Mission College, which escaped the budget ax last year, is expected to feel the pain for the first time this year. The college is still unfinished two years after moving into its permanent campus in Sylmar.
"We won't be able to proceed with completing our campus," President Jack Fujimoto said.
The college does not have funding for additional classroom buildings, a child-care center, a sports complex and other planned facilities.
Valley College in Van Nuys was hurt by budget cuts more last year than the two other San Fernando Valley community college campuses and eliminated hundreds of classes and laid off some personnel.
"It's not wonderful for us," said Shannon Stack, head of instructional media services at the school. "But we're not hurt as much as we could be. We'll just fall a little further behind."
At Pierce College, district and college officials are fighting a Picus proposal to the City Council for more restrictive zoning to ensure that the former college farm area is preserved.
Pierce President Lowell Erickson predicted at a meeting in December that the college would be forced to raise funds by developing the land in some way. But he pledged that the school would not agree to dense development such as that of the nearby Warner Ridge and Warner Center office complexes.
He said officials were thinking more of an income source such as a golf course, which would be compatible with neighborhood wishes.
Community College Funding
The preliminary 1993-94 budgets for campuses in the Los Angeles Community College District were announced Wednesday by Vice Chancellor Neil Yoneji.
PROJECTED ALLOCATION ALLOCATION PERCENT INSTITUTION 1992-93 1993-94 CHANGE East L.A. College $19,596,000 $18,485,000 -5.7% L.A. City College $22,633,000 $20,828,000 -8.0% Harbor College $13,775,000 $13,061,000 -5.2% Mission College $8,629,000 $8,103,000 -6.1% Pierce College $24,308,000 $21,494,000 -11.6% Southwest College $9,571,000 $8,850,000 -7.5% Trade-Tech College $22,201,000 $21,062,000 -5.1% Valley College $21,738,000 $20,452,000 -5.9% West L.A. College $12,149,000 $11,378,000 -6.4% Instructional $719,000 $679,000 -5.6% TV Program TOTAL $155,319,000 $144,391,000 -7.0%
Source: Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees