California Educator

MARCH 2010

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LEFT: Lake Tahoe Community College English as a Second Language instructor Sal Lopez. taught were eliminated, although they are still listed in the catalog. Because the area lacks an adult education program, many students without high school di- plomas have relied on the college’s non- college-credit courses to fill the void. But those, too, have been cut. “I think we’ve made a giant step back- wards,” says Lopez. “Things were al- ready bad for certain segments of the student population before the cutbacks happened.” A disproportionate number of physi- cal education classes have been eliminat- ed. Tahoe is a community known for its recreation services, and many students chose to attend the college to take PE, says Mike Spina, a faculty member whose PE classes were eliminated. The Disability Resource Center lost 48 What CTA members say about cuts to higher education “We’re inundated with students. They are coming from all over because of the unemployment situation and because they need retraining. CSU Long Beach isn’t accepting students, so those who are turned away there come to us. There are more students and fewer teachers, since many adjunct faculty members were let go and others were offered early retirement. THE COUNSELING DEPARTMENT LOOKS LIKE AN EMERGENCY ROOM. It’s like triage, with students lined up down the halls waiting anywhere from two to three hours. It’s really crazy. We are trying to educate students and give them a lesson in civics about what’s going on, because they think it’s something that’s just happening to them personally. But it’s a statewide situation, and it’s going to get worse.” DeWayne Sheaffer, President, CTA Long Beach City College “When fees went up again, it was a hardship for our students. IT FORCED SOME OF THEM OUT OF SCHOOL ALTOGETHER, LIKE THE STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL’S BACK. There have also been a huge number of lecturers who didn’t come back, more than 200 of them. In the fall term of 2008 there were 3,700 sections [classes] compared to the fall term of 2009, with 3,100 sections. That’s a huge drop. When I started teaching here eight years ago, I used to have 25 to 30 undergraduate students in a class. Now it’s 50 or 60. I used to know the names of all my students after a few weeks. Now it takes a whole semester to figure out who sits in the back of the classroom.” Ramon Castellblanch, CFA at San Francisco State University “THINGS HAVE BEEN DETERIORATING FOR YEARS. The word ‘draconian’ is what I mostly use, but I’m running out of adjectives. We have 80 fewer faculty members and 2,000 more students than last year. Much of what we have been doing here is fighting program closures. We have held rallies and teach-in events, marched to the president’s office, and sent in thousands of letters. We are very much in a holding pattern right now.” Dave Bradfield, CFA at CSU Dominguez Hills “We’re in double-digit unemployment here in Stockton. The housing market is terribly depreciated. People can’t get jobs because there are no jobs to get, so they come here to college. But we have cut more than 4,000 sections or classes over the past three semesters. ALMOST ALL THE ADJUNCTS OR PART-TIME TEACHING POSITIONS ARE GONE. We have a significant summer program here, but administrators are now being elusive about committing to summer school. Students are very stressed out and scared about their education plans and goals. I really think the legislators and the governor need to take a look at what’s happening to the educational process in California.” Jeff Hislop, President, San Joaquin Delta College Teachers Association 24 California Educator | MARCH 2010

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