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Report: Budget cuts hobble state's community colleges

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A new report finds state budget cuts have led to a dramatic decline in student enrollment at California's community colleges.
 
The report released Tuesday by the Public Policy Institute of California details the impacts of $1.5 billion in budget cuts between 2007 and 2012 on California Community Colleges.
 
Enrollment in the 112-campus system dropped from 2.9 million to 2.4 million students, even though the number of high school graduates increased. The declines were sharpest among first-time and returning college students.
 
The report says the number of academic-year course offerings dropped 21 percent while summer offerings fell 60 percent as campuses reducing their teaching staffs.
 
The outlook for California's community colleges has improved since November when voters approved new taxes that will help restore funding lost during the economic downturn.