Props 1A-1F hold $23 billion in the balance for schools

Amber Nadeau and Amber Nadeau

With unemployment increasing and the economy tightening, many are finding this a great opportunity to go back to school. One key issue, however, is that school funding is being cut and it is affecting students nationwide, including City College students.

San Diego City College alone was forced to cut over $1 million for the fiscal year of 2008-2009, and is expecting to cut an additional $1 million for next year explains Randy Barnes, Dean of the School of Business, Information Technology, and Cosmetology at San Diego City College.

According to the California Teachers Association (CTA) $11 billion have been cut from state funded schools and colleges over the past two years. This is the single largest budget cut ever made to public education in California.

In March more than 27,000 teachers and education support professionals were laid off. Currently, California schools are ranked 47 in per-pupil spending. Programs such as art, music, and physical education are being eliminated throughout the state.

On May 19 there is a Special Election being held throughout California and propositions 1A-1F need to pass in order for California to not lose more than $23 billion during the next four fiscal years.

“Passing these initiatives will help restore critical funding needed for our students, schools and colleges,” states CTA President David A. Sanchez.

These budget cuts have an extremely negative impact on faculty, staff and students.

“We were forced to cut almost 300 sections this year, and we are planning to cut an additional 300 next year. Basically, this is because we simply do not have enough funding to offer all of the sections that students need,” explains Barnes.

The San Diego Community College administration sent notices to its currently enrolled students at City, Mesa, and Miramar on March 30, giving tips to better prepare them for the coming semesters. A few of these tips include: “Register at your appointment time to maximize access to classes and identify alternative classes if you are unable to get your first choice. Promptly drop the classes you do not attend so other students may enroll. Pay all fees by the deadline so you are not dropped from your classes (even if you have a BOG waiver you are responsible to pay the health fee).”

Education have become competitive, due to students struggling and fighting to get the classes they need to meet their work schedules, educational plan, and extracurricular activities. In addition, students are trying to stay afloat in this recession and care for their families.

On May 6, there was a protest against the budget cuts, demanding more funding for San Diego schools, colleges, social services, financial aid, Medicare, and additional programs which provide protection for students, the poor, and the working class. The protest was sponsored by: SDCC ASG Outreach and Awareness Committee, SDCC Interclub Council, The Spanish Club, Promethean Workers Association (PWA) of San Diego, Promethean Workers Association (PWA) National, and The SOS Coalition.

“The protest went okay. Not as many people showed up as I had hoped,” explained Josef Shannon, who is the Vice President of San Diego City College’s Associated Student Government. Shannon is planning to have another protest in the next few months depending on federal funds and if propositions 1A-1F passes.

For further information about the Special Election being held on May 19 go to www.cta.org. Anyone who wants to be apart of the protest against budget cuts can contact Josef Shannon at [email protected]