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POLITICS/EDUCATION: California community colleges, news of unexpected $149-million budget shortfall, likely to lead to more class cuts, layoffs, elimination of summer programs....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Community colleges hit by $149-million shortfall" - "Officials have little flexibility in responding to the latest cuts because classes are already underway. A decrease in fee revenues and more aid to students complicate financial problems." - From the LAT:

   California community colleges were struggling Tuesday to absorb an unexpected $149-million budget shortfall that will mean more class cuts, layoffs, borrowing and probable elimination of summer programs affecting thousands of students.

    In the latest fallout from California's ongoing fiscal crisis, the state's 112 community colleges reported that revenues from students' fees are $107 million below projections for the current fiscal year as more economically strapped students seek and receive fee waivers. In addition, property tax revenues also fell short of estimates by about $41 million.

    The news has caused more angst and numbers-crunching in a system that has seen its budget slashed by $809 million since 2008. The new cuts pose a particular challenge because most colleges have begun spring session and have little flexibility to change course offerings or make other adjustments that could minimize the effects..................