The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey / nshockey.express@gmail.com
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

Worst crisis ‘in modern times’

Budget+cuts+this+year+have+greatly+reduced+both+classes+and+students+at+City+College.+
Budget cuts this year have greatly reduced both classes and students at City College.

Additional reporting by Matt M. Joye, News Editor || [email protected]

Enrollment in the Los Rios Community College District is projected to be lower for the third consecutive fall semester, as cuts in state funding have forced the district to decrease the number of sections offered despite increased demand, according to district officials.

“Our students have not been spared,” former LRCCD Chancellor Brice Harris told City College faculty at the fall convocation ceremony. “We’ve taken a total of 1,430 sections out [since 2009] or 9.3 percent of our offerings. We have denied our students as a result of this fiscal crisis.”

Harris called the crisis the worst “in modern times.”

In the spring of 2009, before the cuts went into effect, LRCCD had 88,236 students enrolled in classes. By spring of 2012, the number of enrolled students dropped to 84,063, despite new campuses in Davis and West Sacramento, according to Harris.

“Given that had we been funded for growth at normal levels, we would have grown by 10,000 or more students [above 2009 enrollment levels]. We estimate that around 20,000 students in the Greater Sacramento area are being denied access to education,” says Associate Vice Chancellor of Communications Susie Williams.

Williams cited the budget cuts as the reason for lower enrollment.

Some City College students are already struggling with the effects of fewer class offerings.

“Summer [semester]… I had problems,” said Jeremy Liebscher, a mechanical engineering major in his second year at City College. “I notice [classes] all fill up and a lot of people just get turned down.”
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Liebscher says this also affects his financial situation, now that he has to stay at City College [longer than he planned] before he can transfer.

“A lot of people are worried that they’re not going to get what they want,” said Natasha Alston, a cinema major in her second semester of classes.

Alston and Liebscher both say that they have friends and family who go to City College for convenience and that other schools aren’t viable options.

Williams said that the massive cuts and drop in enrollment could affect more than just individual students, saying there is an effect on the broader California economy.

“It is important to note that these statewide budget cuts and drastic drops in enrollment [are] a statewide phenomenon and will have a huge impact on our state and its ability to provide a trained workforce to meet the needs of our economy,”  Williams explains.

But for some students, a measure of despair has already set in.

“[City College] is failing me,” said Ikemmuddin Niazi, a criminal justice major who hasn’t been able to get all of the classes he needs.

According to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office website, the 2011-12 school year saw 2.4 million students enrolled in community colleges across California, down 485,000 since 2009.

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