Tuesday, August 21, 2012
It's the first week of school for students at San Diego's community colleges. City College students got a surprise visit from Gov. Jerry Brown. He's on the stump campaigning for a November ballot measure to deal with the state's chronic budget mess.
Some of the faces in this sociology class say it all. "We've heard it before, Governor Jerry Brown, and what makes Proposition 30 any different?"
"It's a crucial proposition and the people of California will decide whether to cut educational opportunity in San Diego or to expand it," Brown said.
Over the past four years, nearly $35 million has been cut from San Diego's community college district and 2,750 courses have been eliminated due to state budget cuts.
City college student Royal Houston was surprised to hear about the possibility of even more cuts.
"I noticed our fees have gone up not only for enrollment, book fees and things like that are going up instead of going down. So I was actually kind of looking forward to something in November to counter act that a little bit," Houston said.
"All the money from this tax will go into supporting education," Governor Brown told people gathered on the steps of the campus. "But when confronted with the perception the state isn't doing a good job managing what it all ready has, such as money recently recovered from the parks department," the governor said. "I'm glad you brought up that subject because it proves just the opposite: the parks have $54 million more than they thought they had, so that's going to be helpful when we try to open up parks going forward."
The governor has a lot of convincing to do between now and November and like a college professor, he's taking his message to the classroom, and those most affected and able to do something about it. "So Proposition 30 will be asking the most affluent, the most blessed of all the people in California to pay one or two or three percent more and with that money we'll be able to pump billions into the schools in California," he told the crowd.