Piansay, Eming

Students Bearing the Brunt of Cutbacks in California

By Eming Piansay

The budget crisis gripping California is forcing most city and county governments across the state to squeeze spending by local departments -- and unfortunately for public school students, the education sector has become a number-one target for cutbacks.

State funding cuts were the main topic during a panel discussion of budget experts and ethnic media reporters, who gathered last week at New America Media in San Francisco to talk about how the economic recession is playing out in California classrooms.

A chief concern voiced at the briefing was how cuts to education have influenced student-teacher relationships.

Anna Lima, a third-grade teacher at Acorn Woodland Elementary in Oakland, Calif., nearly lost her job because of the budget cuts and has seen first-hand how the cuts have affected school moral.

Student Body Presidents: Budget Cuts Threaten Dream of a Higher Education

By Eming Piansay
New America Media

With public universities in California being targeted for drastic budget cuts, college-bound students are bracing for a now uncertain future. How many students will be able to secure financial aid? Will universities be offering scholarships and fellowships to low-income students? Which courses and departments will be cut out of the curriculum? Will tuition fees at public universities and community colleges be hiked once again?

Those questions are weighing heavy on the minds of the student body presidents interviewed for this report, all of whom agreed that the biggest concern facing them and their classmates is how the financial crisis is going to damage their ability to obtain a college degree. In fact, the student presidents said that for many of their peers, a college degree is seen as the “golden ticket” -- the only thing guaranteeing their survival in a suddenly uncertain world.