By: Jeremy Chen | Chaffey Breeze - the independent student newspaper of Chaffey College
7/21/08- Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as the Terminator once more.
Media Credit: Jimmy Purcell
It's not in a feature film this time but as the trigger of impending budget cuts in California education. His proposed budget is expected to hit education hard with a 10 percent reduction in funds. This includes community colleges like Chaffey, which has given students concern for the future.
With Chaffey, $5 million in cuts may be offset through millions already set aside in reserves.
Earl Davis, the Vice President of Business Services, gave the specifics of what will happen for the 2008-2009 school year. "The 2008-2009 budget has insured that we will not reduce access for our students to educational opportunities," Davis explained. "In fact, we will actually be offering additional sections in core classes." Good news for current and prospective students.
This doesn't mean that cuts won't happen, but the repercussions of Schwarzenegger's cuts will be minimized, he said. At the moment, a hike in tuition doesn't seem to be an option under consideration.
"Tuition is not going to go up," Davis said.
"All the community colleges are being subjected to the cuts, but here [at Chaffey] we are utilizing a reserve fund that will significantly reduce any negative impact that might occur," Davis said. "The cuts that will occur though will be restricted to energy usage and other outside costs, such as non instructional expenses." The reserve fund comes from previous budgets in the past that required a certain percentage of surpluses be set-aside in reserves. This will allow Chaffey to bounce back effectively from $5 million worth of cuts.
The recent cuts have been a result of the slumping economy. "Cuts to community colleges will only hurt the economy even more as people won't be allowed to access the education they possibly need to find a career path," Davis observed.
The California Community College System- which includes Chaffey - is the largest higher educational system in the nation as it serves more than 2.6 million students annually. Chancellor Diane Woodruff, head of the state's community college system, has noted previously that a $525 million reduction facing the system would not allow them to serve 52,000 new students next year. It is the state's largest provider of workforce training, and would become compromised with the proposed budget cuts. Although Chaffey might not feel the brunt of the cuts, other community colleges likely will.
The students of Chaffey College shouldn't worry about possibly having their class choices be limited by government bureaucracy, according to Davis.
smf 2¢: Everything is just fine at Chaffey this year . . . too bad about the 52,000 students in the state being denied entrance to community colleges.
Of course next year Chaffey will have no reserves and Woodruff will not be Chancellor of the Community College system.