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How much can education be cut?

December 02, 2011

A bad situation at Glendale Community College appears only to be getting worse.

If state revenues fail to meet expectations, the college is ready to reduce its 2012 summer session by up to 80 classes and cut faculty pay by 3.95% — a tough pill for everyone, including students, to swallow after the campus went through painful cost-cutting measures earlier this year.

Under pressure from state funding cuts, the 2011 summer session was already scaled back, and the 2012 winter session has been eliminated altogether.

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The college’s faculty union, having already made salary concessions this past summer, agreed to another round of cuts this week that, depending on how bad the state funding scenario gets, would save between $675,000 and $1 million.

As the union’s president said, “No one is happy with it, but it was the best we could do, so we are just going to have to accept it.”

But do we? How long will the public allow California politicians to cut from an education system that is pivotal for the long-term economic success of high school graduates — especially those who won’t go on to a four-year university?

It’s a question that begs a response from stakeholders before its gets answered by politicians in Sacramento.

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