Melissa on the Community College Crisis

From the desk of Melissa Fox, candidate for 70th Assembly District:

Class Closed:
Misplaced Budget Priorities Cause Community College Crisis

Students now starting classes at our community colleges face extraordinary challenges as they attempt to get the education and training they need and our state was once committed to provide.

Due to $520 million in budget cuts, our community colleges have eliminated 10 percent of their classes and the rest are over-enrolled. Students are facing long waiting lists, rising costs, and drastically reduced aid.

According to California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott, “For the first time, our first time enrollments dropped. It wasn’t a lack of demand, it was a lack of supply. People are being denied.”

These devastating cuts to California’s community colleges have come at exactly the wrong time – when unemployment is high, veterans are returning home from deployment, and more people are seeking the educational opportunities and workforce training necessary for success in the 21st century.

These cuts are not simply the unavoidable result of our economic downtown. Instead, they are the result of Sacramento’s gridlock and misguided budget priorities, which have failed to recognize the needs of middle class Californians.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

California should not be spending more on prisoners than on the students in our community colleges. We should not be spending more on tax breaks for multinational corporations that ship our jobs overseas than the students in our own communities. And like every other oil producing state, California should have a reasonable oil extraction fee that would raise $1 billion for our public universities and community colleges.[perfect! – Vern]

My opponent says that our schools, colleges and universities don’t need more funding. That’s nonsense.

Our community colleges are crucial gateways to success and prosperity for millions of Californians. More than any other institution, our community colleges provide the educational opportunities and training necessary for millions of working and middle class Californians, including adults and returning veterans, to achieve the California Dream. In fact, three-quarters of California’s more than 20,000 Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans who are attending college are enrolled in a community college.

Our community college students and their families need real representation in Sacramento.
I pledge to provide that representation – and fight to make sure that our community college students have the education and training programs they need to succeed.


September 7, 2010

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.