It is the intent of the Legislature that the administration of the laws governing the financial support for the California Community Colleges be conducted within the purview of the following principles and policies:
The system of public support for the California Community Colleges should be designed to strengthen and encourage local responsibility for control of community college education. Community college districts should be so organized that they can facilitate the provision of full educational opportunities for all who attend. Local control is best accomplished by the development of strong, vigorous, and properly organized local administrative units. It is the state's responsibility to create or facilitate the creation of local districts of sufficient size to property discharge local responsibilities and to spend the tax dollar effectively.
The system of public support for the California Community Colleges should assure that state, local, and other funds are adequate for the support of a realistic funding level. It is unrealistic and unfair to the less wealthy districts to provide for only a part of the financing necessary for an adequate educational program.
The system of public support should permit and encourage community college districts to provide and support improved district organization and educational programs. The system of public support should prohibit the introduction of undesirable organization and educational practices, and should discourage any such practices now in effect. Improvement of programs in particular districts is in the interests of the state as a whole as well as of the people in individual districts, since the excellence of the programs in some districts will tend to bring about program improvement in other districts.
The system of public support should make provision for the apportionment of state funds to local districts on a strictly objective basis that can be computed as well by the local districts as by the state. The principle of local responsibility requires that the granting of discretionary powers to state officials over the distribution of state aid and the granting to these officials of the power to impose undue restriction on the use of funds and the conduct of educational programs at the local level be avoided.
The system of public support for the California Community Colleges should effect a partnership between the state and community college districts, with both participating equitably in accordance with their relative ability. The respective abilities should be combined to provide a financial plan between the state and the districts for public support.
The system of public support for the California Community Colleges should provide for essential educational opportunities for all who attend. Provision should be made in the financial plan for adequate financing of all educational services.
The broader based taxing power of the state should be utilized to raise the level of financial support in the properly organized but financially weak districts of the state, thus contributing greatly to the equalization of educational opportunity for the students residing therein. It should also be used to provide a minimum amount of guaranteed support to all districts, for this state assistance serves to develop among all districts a sense of responsibility to the entire system of public education in the state.
(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 1038, Sec. 9.)