San Francisco News

Drastic measures proposed to keep CCSF afloat

Thursday, September 27, 2012

City College trustees are meeting shortly to go over a plan to keep the college in business. It has been plagued by the struggling economy coupled with financial mismanagement and must take immediate action to stay afloat.

Basically City College of San Francisco was told that if it wants to continue operating, it has to get its finances in order. So the college came up with a plan, which some are calling the roadmap for survival. The public has the first chance to see the proposal tonight.

City College of San Francisco wants to close two of its nine campuses. They are small, yet for years they have served their communities. One, located at Everett Middle School in the city's Castro District, offered a number of night classes. The second is located on Geary Boulevard.

That recommendation is included in a 48 page proposal to keep the college operating by adopting drastic cost-cutting measures. Among the many proposals, the plan also seeks to cut salaries, consolidate positions, consolidate or eliminate programs, and get rid of paid sabbaticals.

Students know these changes will affect them. Mardiolene Peredo has seen the consequences of past cuts, "And also the classes. I mean, I need to take one of the classes, but they cut it. So I'm not sure what to do with that. I'm definitely thinking of transferring somewhere else."

The plan was requested by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and must be presented by October 15. About 92 percent of City College's budget goes to salaries and benefits. That will likely change.

"The accreditation commission and the fiscal crisis team both called attention to what they believe were high benefits for half-time employees," City College spokesperson Larry Kamer said.

Part-time employees may have to renegotiate their existing contract. Leslie Simon is a full-time teacher who opposes this kind of action, "They are wonderful instructors because they are secure instructors. So I think full-timers giving back some pay, not a problem, but slashing our part-timers' benefits, big problem."

But some students believe the college is now finally on the right track, "I think they have what it takes to turn it around, I'm not too worried," student Justin Wilkinson said. "Everybody seems pretty serious about getting the school back into shape."

While two small campuses are closing, City College just recently opened its campus in Chinatown. That campus was opened, however, by bond money and donations.

The college is also hoping that Proposition 30 passes. That is the governor's tax increase. If it does not pass, the college will have to cut an additional $11 million by the end of this year.

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budget cuts, school closures, school cuts, school layoffs, san francisco news, lyanne melendez
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