Financial fiasco

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By Staff Editorial

Endangered Services (Edward Diaz / Asst. Photo Editor )

By Staff Editorial

Why is it that every year, every semester, and sometimes every week the budget for the state and colleges seems to be shrinking?

The college and state have such a limited amount of money right? Well this isn’t necessarily true. There are funds, there is money, just not in the right places and in some cases not in the right hands.

Now it seems like more and more students are attending at Riverside City College, but the fact of the matter is that with the budget shrinking as it is, the amount of students coming in will be nothing in comparison to the number of those who won’t be able to get into classes. So again, why is the budget so low?

The answer lies in many places. The state only gives so much money to all the colleges, and the colleges then in turn have to portion it out. In a perfect world this would be all fine and dandy, but unfortunately this isn’t a fairy tale. Prices of everything seem to be skyrocketing, and the college systems cannot keep up with the funds given to them.

If tax extensions aren’t approved by the voters, community colleges across the state will face a huge budget cut for five consecutive years. If that were to happen the shortages in classes would become a drought, entire programs could come to a screeching halt.

This isn’t to say that the colleges aren’t doing what they can to trim unnecessary fat. Digital and electronic resources are used when possible to cut back on the money spent on paper supplies, and most students can recall a time when they ran into the misfortune of finding out the classroom stapler is out of staples, yet again.  

All the cutting back and trimming down won’t be to much use if the hands that rule and regulate the money take a nickel or two more than they need. For the past several years the funding spent by the administrators has gone up, while funding for the classrooms has gone down. There are laws in places to prevent this from happening, but apparently there is more than one way to dry a well.

The 50 percent law that is currently in place is there to ensure that at least 50 percent of community college funds be spent on instruction. This law has been violated for 20 years now with no end it sight.

If the greed and hoarding continues then soon enough there won’t be colleges for the state to take money from. Classes this semester are already limited in number and in space. Students and instructors will be the ones to be effected by this the most. Students will have to try harder to get into classes and pray their registration dates are better than their fellow students. Not to mention that soon enough the fees will be increasing. The per unit fee of $26 is said to be increasing to $36. This means every student will have to spend an extra $10 per unit, while the amount they receive in aid will most likely stay the same.

The instructors are on the same boat. Less classes’ means less time spent teaching. Full time instructors will have to make due teaching on a part time schedule, and those who were already on a part time schedule will most likely fare worse weather to come on their already thin pay.

Times will continue to bring stricter budgets, which mean less classes and overall harder times for college students.

As students at RCC it is imperative to become aware of the recurring problems like the budget, and do whatever possible, like attend meetings, write letters, or simply inform others. Either way the problem alone will not be solved without action, motivation and the voice of those who need to be heard.

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