Community College Cuts Threaten Local Economy

City College teacher Tom White at Monday's rally.

City College teacher Tom White at Monday's rally.

San Francisco City College and the other 109 community colleges across the state are the engines that fuel local economies, and the severe budget constraints facing the schools should worry policy makers, said Jack Scott, chancellor of California Community Colleges.

Slashing the budget to City College is “a real problem because this is where people get retrained and get out there and work and give a shot into the arm of the economy,” Scott said.

Scott spoke to a group of about 100 students, staff, faculty, and supporters of City College at the Monday evening Yerba Buena Gardens kickoff of Community College Week.

As California’s unemployment rate continues to rise and four-year universities continue to turn away students, the demand for community colleges continues to increase. The California Community College system saw a 4.9 percent increase in student enrollment compared to the previous academic year.

Yet their resources are being cut back.

City College, for instance, has cut counseling hours, implemented hiring freezes and, this year, has cut some 800 classes, of which nearly 400 will be dropped in the spring. An estimated 85 percent of summer courses will be dropped as well.

Don Q. Griffin, City College chancellor, has said the school is experiencing a $20 million deficit and will likely face another tough year for 2010-11.

“We have plenty of customers but not enough money,” Scott said.

The gathering was part of a series of efforts of City College students, staff and faculty to make their voices heard to lawmakers. Students and staff have a candlelight vigil planned for Friday.

Lance Izumi, president of the Board of Governors, said there’s a lot of uncertainty among students about their ability to get into courses or finish programs.

The number of classes dropped will hinder students’ ability to graduate on time. So will the “career technical classes to re-train and get people back to work as soon as possible,” Izumi said.

“It’s shocking that state government has cut the funds for an educational institution that so many students need today,” said Tom White, whose taught English as a Second Language courses for 34 years. “We need the support from the government and we’re not getting it.”

White, who teaches in the downtown campus, said teachers who have taught for seven semesters or less are not receiving teaching hours for the spring.

Students, faculty and staff gathered to speak against the drastic cuts in the City College budget.

“What we may lack in the way of little of light, we can really get a lot of heat,” Scott told the crowd who cheered.

“We’ve got to make our voices heard,” said Scott. “Community colleges are the best bang for the buck. We don’t have huge research institutions. We educate students on a day-to-day basis.”

3 Comments

  1. Patrick Donnelly

    The most mismanaged school on earth. Funny, how the teachers whine about cuts, but heaven forbid you cut their pay, perks, parking spots, etc. Of course like cops the teachers will say “what perks”?!!!! Well, put it this way, you are making more than most students, who earn min. wage. Yet, you expect them to buy ever increasingly expensive books, pay for parking, rate increases, lack of enough real classes, there should never be ESL or anything else, if there is not enough English 1A classes or Math, period! But, the administration has plenty of symapthy for illegals who contribute nothing, and their own pay, dare to decrease that. How much do they make? Yeah, exactly they say they earned it, bull. If the students suffer so should the teachers. I know there are good teachers, but there are bad ones too. Like everything in life, so instead of the teachers moaning about cuts, they should put the students first instead of crying about the budgets, how? By, not allowing foreign students to attend while ONE legal resident is not allowed a place. By, taking pay cuts during this depression, if students can suffer so can they. By, cutting the pay of administrators. Make them pay for parking, and everything else like the students they bleed dry. Creating more online classes, less cost, more classes, more volume and more money for the schools. I don’t buy this argument teachers make so little, if so there is always Burger King. Must not be too bad they still work as teachers. You know everyone is suffering, so why complain, the budget must be cut. But, even when there is money it is never enough. These pigs feed at the FASFA and Federal troughs and always need more. How about NOT building all these new buildings and get back to teaching. They find the money for state of the art gyms, new extension buildings, but not enough to create enough classes. If the teachers is decent you can learn in a tent. Get your priorities straight. How about accelerated programs for students, or the ability for students to earn more credit through CLEP, test out and move on, you will free up space, and alow students to not have to stay at City College longer than they need to. Still, this school is a joke. And don’t get me started on tenure. Funny how in the real world if you suck you get fired. But, not tenured teachers they can murder someone and only get a warning. But, seriously if you are a great teacher you don’t need tenure. Get rid of the deadwood and create competition. Instead of the same old creepy teachers who preach and moan that budget cuts are bad, but show their fangs when it comes to one penny reduction in pay or benefits. Thanks.

  2. College Teacher

    Wow,
    Mr. Donnelly,
    I actually feel sorry for you. You must have had a really hard time in school. I don’t even know where to begin with your diatribe against public education. If you really give some thought to it, you might come to realize that if it weren’t for all those teachers you dispise, then you would not have been able to express your misogynistic, racist, sexist, oppressive and generally offensive comments.
    So, here’s to a great public education system with underpaid and overeducated teachers doing a thankless job for people who will make two to three times more than they make with less education and who will then turn on them and suggest they neither deserve their respect nor the pittance they do receive.
    Thank you so much John Q. Public, maybe I will just start ignoring your troubled child.

  3. Patrick Donnelly

    Well, Mr. Teacher I guess when you have no argument just do as most liberal insane people do, call those with differing opinions misogynistic, racist, sexist, and opressive. What happened to free speech or does that only apply to those that agree? Why don’t you tell me how to speak, what to say and how to say it so as to not offend you, since you have made my point for me. And thank you, yes you should feel sorry because just like you this is the same knee jerk reaction I got from the teachers at your fine school, condemn anyone that does not agree. Where was I misogynistic? Nowhere, and sexist? Nowhere, and oppressive? Nowhere. And offensive? Well, hate to break the news to you, but your offensive, because if I don’t agree you have the power to give bad grades and make my life difficult. It is you that is pitiful. You bitch and moan over money as you act as though you are beyond reproach. And like all people there are good and bad teachers, I just found that San Francisco has an abundance of bad ones. But, again my views at your liberal schools are not tolerated, that kind of diversity is not welcomed, only the sad and pathetic lemmings that all march lock step with your views. Now that is pitiful. And for a college teacher you sure need help with your writing. I have an excuse for my bad writing , what is yours? Again, you can throw all the money in the world at these people it is never enough, and in regards to being broke, well why don’t you look at yourself? That teachers Union and all those liberal teachers that voted for Obama and his policies and helped get him elected, where is their responsibility for his failed policies? He allows illegals to live here and they pay NO taxes, he has run the dollar into the ground and left us in dire straits and then not only kept us in war ,but now has even sent more troops. I guess the teachers that voted for him are not guilty of making mistakes that has come back to bite them in the ass. And what about the teachers union? You have that working for you, when almost ALL students have no advocate, where are their voices? At the end of the day teachers think that some piece of paper given to them because they played the system makes them more educated than most. I have dealt with the teachers at your schools and most are products of a liberal nonsense system that has given us idiots with worthless degrees that know little more than pushing their liberal agenda. I respect the ones with math and science degrees, but the rest make me ill. Most of their course work involves promoting the hatred of white males while touting the wonderful minorities and women, who according to these useful idiots are beyond reproach, so yes you should feel sorry for me. There is endless money for everyone BUT white males. You think because you have a degree that gives you some sort of special ability when it comes ot anything BUT teaching the specific field you are in? Bullshit, stick to teaching whatever you teach and respect those like me who have a different opinion or don’t expect any respect back. The reason schools are broke is because of your liberal policies, pure and simple. People who pay taxes are fleeing California and those left are more and more illegals and new citizens that could care less about anything but getting what they can for free, and the sooner you wake up the better. But, you won’t because your warped sense of morality puts more value on illegals than real citizens, you would much rather have these flophouse citizens here sucking the system dry than people like me who care about our nation. So stop crying because you and your ilk made this bed, now sleep in it.

Comments are closed.