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Community Colleges Discuss Impact of State Budget

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The CEOs of the San Diego Imperial Counties Community College Association (SDICCA) held a news conference this afternoon to discuss the impacts of the Governor's May Revision. During the news conference—which was covered by five television stations and two daily newspapers—those in attendance hit home how community colleges are the key to improving the local economy.

SWC Governing Board President Norma L. Hernandez is interviewed at the San Diego Imperial Counties Community College Association news conference.
SWC Governing Board President Norma L. Hernandez is interviewed at the San Diego Imperial Counties Community College Association news conference.

Student Trustee Claudia Duran is interviewed at the SDICCA news conference
Student Trustee Claudia Duran is interviewed at the San Diego Imperial Counties Community College Association news conference.

Three students—including Southwestern College Student Trustee Claudia Duran—gave personal examples of how education reductions have impacted their opportunities to transfer to four-year universities and delayed attainment of their personal goals.

In an interview with Univision, Board President Norma Hernandez spoke about how Southwestern College faculty, staff and leadership voted to give themselves a 5% salary reduction to address budget shortfalls at the college.

A key message from the news conference was the importance of helping educate the public about Governor Brown's tax initiative, which will be on the ballot in November. Superintendent/President Melinda Nish told those in attendance that the Southwestern College Leadership Team would be spending the summer providing information to their constituencies and to the South Bay community.

SCEA President Andy MacNeill said that union leaders throughout San Diego County are creating an outreach plan to inform their members about the "Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012" November ballot measure and other measures and candidates on the ballot that support public education.

Passage of the November ballot measure would mean $313 million in new funding for California's community colleges. Failure of the measure would mean an additional $4.26 million cut to Southwestern College's budget and a reduction of 883 FTES. (Source: Community College League of California)

All members of the Southwestern College community are encouraged to become informed about the upcoming initiatives and to vote.

Lillian E. Leopold, APR
Chief Public Information & Government Relations Officer
Southwestern College

 

Southwestern College Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda Nish (left) joined other regional community college CEOs at the news conference.
Southwestern College Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda Nish (left) joined other regional community college CEOs at the news conference.