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College Official Urges Letters to Boost State Aid

Times Staff Writer

Bill Watts, president of Saddleback Community College District, Monday night urged residents of the south county area to write Gov. George Deukmejian and their legislators to support increased funds for the state’s community colleges.

Watts made the plea during a meeting of the board at Irvine Valley College, formerly the Saddleback North campus in Irvine.

The board had a preliminary discussion of its budget for the next year, and the consensus was that funding would be tight at both Irvine Valley and the Saddleback college campus in Mission Viejo. Constance Carroll, president of Saddleback College, told the board that reduced funds would mean cuts in health services and instructional equipment. “I believe we can get through the year with far less problems than most institutions in California, but it will be a very difficult year,” Carroll said.

Prediction Brings Protest

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The tight budget prediction brought a protest from Kathie Hodge, president of the Faculty Senate of Saddleback College. She urged the board to try to get more money to help instructional programs.

It was at this point that Watts, the president of the board, focused attention on the current state budget battle in Sacramento. The Democratic-controlled Legislature is currently pushing for $90 million more for community colleges in 1985-86 than Republican Deukmejian wants in his budget.

“If you want to get on the bandwagon (to help community colleges),” Watts said, “I suggest you write to the Legislature and the governor. Especially write to the governor. He’s the guy with the blue pencil.”

In other business, the board heard a report noting that 27.7% of the students enrolled in the district are 50 or older. The report said the next largest group is 21 and under, composing 24.9% of the enrollment of the two colleges.

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