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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

California Budget Cuts Hurting Colleges

California's budget deficit has been affecting colleges around the state for years. At Santa Monica Community College, students aren't the only ones suffering.

At Santa Monica Community College, students, teachers and classified employees (non-teaching faculty members) are all feeling the effects of California’s budget deficit.

Since 2008, budget cuts have been limiting the number of classes and student resources at the school.

“We’ve reduced our [class] offering by 1,100 sections,” said SMC’s superintendent Chui L. Tsang.

The school also recently eliminated its winter session because of the cuts. 

Now, students are having a difficult time registering for courses.  Many resorted to sitting in on classes they wanted to add.

“Most of the courses I’m taking right now, I crashed them,” Amir Kasirighahi said.

Counseling Department Chair, Laurie Guglielmo said it’s understandable that students are frustrated because of the budget cuts.

“It’s very difficult for students in ultimately affects the amount of time it takes for them to get a degree,” she said.

Brad Limonds said teachers are worried about being laid off or furloughed.

“I think it will happen, more than likely but we haven’t been told how severe it’s going to be yet,” Limonds said.

Ron Valdez is a classified employee at SMC who says hundreds of employees at the school will be affected by the cancellation of the winter session.

“Just not being able to work for six weeks, that’s going to take a cut out of your pay,” he said.

Students, teachers, and classified employees alike said they hope for the passage of Proposition 30 in November. If it doesn’t pass, Santa Monica College and other public schools will lose around $6 million in funding. 

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