When we talk about education layoffs we tend to think about schools that provide a primary or secondary education, with students who are under 18. While those kinds of cuts are being made, in some places in droves, they are not the only schools that are having to make staffing cuts in order to make ends meet in these tough times. Many colleges have made serious cuts, and while four-year schools have had to do their share of trimming community colleges have borne the brunt of many of the losses.
For those of you who are not familiar with Long Beach City College, here is a look at how Eloy Ortiz Oakley, the Superintendent-President of the school, describes the college in an open letter to their students:
“Proudly serving our community and students for over 80 years, our faculty and staff are dedicated to providing you with an excellent educational experience in a student-centered environment. Whether you seek to transfer to a university, complete a certificate in a career field, obtain an AA degree, improve your skills or just enjoy learning a new subject, Long Beach City College has wonderful opportunities for you. I hope that while you are at LBCC, you take full advantage of the tremendous student resources, leadership opportunities and rich history.”
That rich history will not include a dark chapter in which 55 workers were let go and 96 others had the terms of their contract radically altered. These cuts are part of a budget plan put out by the college that is designed to help the school to save roughly $5.1 million for the coming fiscal year.
These changes will impact about 40 percent of the classified staff. For those of you not familiar with the term classified staff refers to worker such as the maintenance staff, custodians and clerical workers, basically the non-teaching staff of the school.
Students have been protesting the job cuts and tuition hikes in recent weeks, primarily because they are worried about how the changes to the college will impact their bottom line and their ability to transfer to a four year school after graduation if they cannot get all of the needed classes in their first two years of education.
Long Beach City College is, of course, not the only community college to be impacted by the recent cuts to budgets and they are not the only ones to resort to cutting back on staff in order to meet the needs of their shrinking budgets. For those of who missed out on our earlier coverage of cuts to other community colleges here is an excerpt that will get you up to speed in no time at all:
“Community colleges are, for many students, a stepping-stone to a wider world. For those professions in which an associate’s degree is the needed one that prepares them for their professional lives. For those students who are destined to move onto more advanced degrees it is a stepping-stone to universities that allows students to take on college level work without paying the four-year college rate. This option allows many students who may not have been able to afford a university education to get a head start with two years fewer of debt, it may also give students the ability to prove themselves academically, making them more likely to obtain scholarships or other fiscal inducements from four year schools.
In Ventura County, California, not one, but three community colleges are being forced to make cuts that will impact their programs. The colleges in question are Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura and between these three the colleges are expected to cut about 60 jobs. The cuts will impact primarily support staff, such as clerks and lab technicians, and one dean.”Long Beach City College Cuts 55 Jobs by Harrison Barnes