Oct 12, 2009
It turns out that only 39 million dollars – instead of 130 million – is going to California’s community colleges from the stimulus plan.
Either way, it’s not nearly enough. The state has cut 520 million dollars from this year’s funding for the colleges and already cut an additional 320 million dollars from next year’s community college budget.
All this comes at a time when enrollment in the state community colleges has increased to 2.9 million, an all-time high. This is not a surprise, since the state’s four year colleges have announced steep tuition increases, reducing enrollment, and tens of thousands of laid off workers are trying to go back to school. Now these students and workers are facing fewer course offerings and larger class sizes in community colleges – and higher fees as well.
The stimulus bill was presented as a grand rescue plan for workers hit hard by endless layoffs. The media made the pitch, and politicians used the stimulus plan like a fig leaf to cover their own shameful cuts in public services.
As workers in California and other states have found out once again, most of that talk was hot air.