Students march on state Capitol to protest cuts

archive_import /

By CLAIRE ST. JOHN

As Columbia College classes and programs are being whittled away in light of a roughly $34 billion state budget deficit, students are fighting to get their voices heard and their classes back.

Today, students boarded a bus on campus and rode to Sacramento to give the governor and other legislators an idea of how budget cuts are affecting them by marching on the Capitol.

The march was expected to draw community college faculty, students, staff and administrators from all over the state to protest what they see as unfair budget cuts and unreasonable 118-percent fee increases for students.

At Columbia College, fee increases are not the only problems students see. Essential programs and services are fading from campus, open positions are being left unfilled and classes are not being added.

Because of the state's budget crisis, Columbia College is gearing up for $2 million in cuts by next year.

"(We're) looking at all our accounts and all our budgets that may be cut," said Columbia College President Jim Riggs. "Part of our great frustration is we're looking at midyear cuts, and the state has still to define what is to be cut."

The list of services to be cut is lengthy: Child care, the disabled students' program and Partnership for Excellence a state project that increases transfers from community colleges to universities are soon to be ghosts.

Library and high-tech center hours, counseling time and assessment services, new books for libraries and other programs are also in jeopardy.

"We were right to the point where we were going to put an infant center on campus, but we had to cut that," Riggs said.

An approved middle-college program which would allow select high school students to attend college-level classes is also suspended.

"It's hard to justify a new program when we're having to actually cut positions and lay people off," Riggs said.

11500787
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Monday May 30, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Sheriff’s deputies respond to alarm at Sonora KFC

05/26/2016

Tuolumne County sheriff’s deputies responded with guns drawn to a holdup alarm ... more

UPDATE: Probe begins in Don Pedro fire

05/25/2016

Investigators began sifting through the rubble of the Don Pedro Recreation Agency ... more

Tense board meeting ends in resignation

05/26/2016

After months of turmoil between the Mother Lode Fair Board of Directors ... more

Avalon Care Center fined for patient death

05/24/2016

Avalon Care Center in Sonora has been fined $80,000 by the California ... more

Homelessness, high school and the Butte Fire

05/20/2016

Cole Baisch arrived at Calaveras High School around lunchtime as the sky ... more