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 /
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

Governor stumps for Prop. 30 support at City College
Governor Brow encouraged support for Proposition 30 at City College Oct.18, 2013. Tony Wallin // [email protected]

GOV. JERRY BROWN CAME to City College last October and pitched a long shot proposition to save California’s schools. In November voters approved Proposition 30, officially titled “Temporary Taxes to Fund Education,” providing a temporary financial fix for the state’s community colleges.

Thanks to the proposition’s passage, many community colleges restored course sections, but so far Los Rios Community College District campuses have not seen an increase. City College has actually reduced its sections by 3.85 percent this semester compared to last fall, according to data in a survey by the California State Community College Chancellor’s Office.

City College will not see any significant course sections added during the 2013–2014 year. The LRCCD utilized initial funding from the proposition for deferred payment, capital fund reimbursement and to stave off continued benefit reductions for staff and faculty, according to Robert Martinelli, vice president of administration.

“Some colleges had to make large cuts,” said Martinelli, “Los Rios had a capital reserve to draw on.”

Between 2008 and 2012, before the passage of Prop 30, community college funding was cut by $1.5 billion, and course sections decreased by almost 24 percent statewide. Many colleges were forced to immediately eliminate summer school sessions and severely scale back course sections, according to the report published by the state chancellor’s office.

Los Rios, the second largest district in California’s community college system, felt the budget pinch like other community colleges throughout the state. However, the district avoided many of the extreme cuts in student services through the use of reserve funds, reduced spending, classified job cuts and benefits sacrificed by faculty and staff, according to LRCCD Chancellor Brian King.

“In an effort to smooth the reductions of the past five years, Los Rios has needed to dip into reserves, reduce spending and required employees to sacrifice to help minimize the impact on our 80,000 students,” said King in his Executive Summary of the 2013–2014 Tentative Budget.
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Many of the state’s community colleges have increased their course sections by significant numbers, but the new course sections are actually a fraction of the previously cut sections they are replacing. Placer County’s Sierra College reported a 7.8 percent increase in course sections offered, according to the state chancellor’s survey.

For Los Rios the true recovery will likely begin in the 2014–2015 academic year when the district no longer anticipates a reduced need to draw on reserves, according to King.

“At that time, we anticipate there will be little or no reliance on reserves, and the District will be able to gradually add back or create new programs to meet the needs of our students and the community,” stated King in his tentative budget summary.

Though King says improvements are on the horizon, getting the course sections that fit educational goals and personal schedules is still a challenge for many students. Isys Zuniga, a business administration and early childhood development double major, has been going to City College off and on since 2007 and faced some difficulty finding the classes she needs.

“A couple of times I’ve had trouble getting the classes I need,” said Zuniga. “But, if I outwait the waiting list I usually get in.”

Students say they are frustrated by the lack of course sections currently offered by City College because they are not aware how the districts capital reserve and unseen faculty and staff sacrifices minimized the impact of the funding crisis, according to Martinelli. However, City College and LRCCD were already preparing and handling a budget that didn’t account for Prop 30 funding, Martinelli said.

“The additional funding stops additional cuts, but does not restore what is lost,” said Martinelli, “and this proposition only lasts for four years.”

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