Dec 8, 2013
College Budget Cuts Make Life Grueling for America’s Young and Unemployed
Posted on Jun 13, 2012
By Howie Stier
Leichnitz may be a paradigm of the community college experience; she has transferred to UCLA to earn a political science degree and aims for law school. But her success is an exceptional example of commitment not demanded of the average student at other colleges.
The notion that it is acceptable to make students piece together a degree the way it’s become acceptable to make the underemployed desperately piece together a paycheck with a string of shifts at different employers hasn’t gone without a modicum of dissent.
In April, a small group of students rallied on the LACC quad and marched through classrooms to denounce their mistreatment, but failed to stir indifferent classmates. “Students that were in the classrooms did not really know what was going on,” Eun Ju Lee reported in the Los Angeles Collegian, a campus newspaper. The protesters were members of the Occupy LACC club, which was subsequently suspended, their action deemed by administrators to have disturbed classes. And other than a story buried in a forlorn pile of month-old newspapers, the only outward sign on this placid campus that lives are being disrupted is a collective sigh of “this sucks.”
Although Brown seemed determined to source money for education by shutting down state redevelopment agencies—citing widespread waste in the programs—that move faces a court challenge, leaving education funding reliant on a ballot initiative to temporarily raise taxes. Speaking to a reporter a day before commencement, Moore said “I don’t envy the governor or the Legislature for the choices they have to make. I’m hopeful the tax initiative will go forward [in] November.” And should voters balk at tax increases, LACC faces a forbidding future. “It is bleak,” she said. “We might have to make additional cuts, and that would be devastating.” But that scenario won’t be broached at the graduation ceremonies.
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