Thousands of students turned away as education opportunities fade for many;
College leaders & students issue plea for public to ask help from local legislators who continue to oppose budget measures to protect community college funding
By Miriam Raftery
May 17, 2011 (El Cajon) –Tens of thousands of students have been turned away from community colleges in our region this summer following $73 million in budget cuts---at a time when California had the largest high school graduation rate in history and unemployment levels are soaring. Fees have gone up by nearly a third and staff positions have been slashed—but the worst may be yet to come.
“An all-cuts budget would be nothing short of an educational Armageddon,” warned Cindy Miles, Chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (GCCCD). Miles joined leaders of six community college districts in a press conference at Grossmont College today to show the dire consequences of recent budget cuts and worse impacts if the all-cuts budget is enacted. She and other leaders praised Governor Jerry Brown for requesting an extension of existing taxes to prevent the all-cuts budget option. (View a video with more of Miles' remarks.)
But Republicans (including East County representatives Joel Anderson and Brian Jones) have refused to support the Governor’s budget. They remain determined to force an all-cuts budget regardless of consequences on local students and our region’s economy, top educators warned.