The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

California Community Colleges:
Slamming the Door

Sep 3, 2012

Over the last three years, student enrollment in California community colleges has plunged by almost half a million, going from 2.9 million students in 2008-09 down to 2.4 million in 2011-12. This is happening as the number of students seeking to get into community colleges continues to increase, as students try to find a less expensive alternative to the skyrocketing costs of the regular four year colleges and universities. Not to mention all those who are trying to go back to school to get training. Many of these people have lost their jobs and are desperately looking for a way to get back into the workforce.

But instead of trying to meet the increasing need, the state government has done the exact opposite. It has cut close to a billion dollars over the last three years from the community college budget. The colleges have, in turn, eliminated 25% of all classes. By the first week of classes this year, there were long lines of people outside classrooms who couldn’t get in.

Budget cuts have also made conditions much more difficult for those attending. The cost of classes has almost doubled in the last two years. And vital services, such as remedial classes, financial aid, tutoring and counseling have been either scaled back drastically or eliminated entirely.

Hundreds of thousands of students trying to attend a community college in California have had the school door slammed in their faces – just when the need is greater than ever.