Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed spending cuts would remove $400 million from California community colleges, including PCC. Before students get too angry, it’s important to remember this is not a vendetta against colleges or students. These proposed spending cuts apply to other things like health care and Brown’s own office as well.
Economists have appeared on the “PBS Newshour” suggesting that every dollar proposed for the budget should be evaluated. The economists warned that deep cuts in the wrong areas could do more harm than good. Cutting higher education budgets is one of those cuts that are questionable in the long run. Most economists agree that a more skilled and educated work force creates more sustainable jobs.
It is suggested that the number classes would grow smaller and tuition would be more expensive, and that as many as 350,000 students could not attend college. In response to Brown’s proposed cuts, Community College Chancellor Jack Scott, said: “If just 2 percent more of California’s population earned associate degrees and 1 percent more earned bachelor’s degrees, the state’s economy would grow by $20 billion. Those educated workers would generate state and local taxes of $1.2 billion a year and 174,000 new jobs would be created in California.”
Brown is looking for ways to balance the budget. He wants to hold a special election in June where voters could vote on laws such as a tax increase for wealthy corporations in California that could generate $942 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Students are now a generation paying for the previous administrations’ sins. PCC president Mark Rocha was quoted as saying “there’s no way to avoid the pain of budget cuts.” College students are in a tough situation and they have a right to be angry. The spending cuts are a necessary evil.