As you likely well know if you have come across this petition, the Long Beach City College Board of Trustees voted to eliminate eleven, mostly vocational programs. They made this decision at a time when our latest budget indicates that we have 14.1% cash reserves, and did so against the recommendation of our Academic Council, which was formed to advise the Administration about the proposed cuts. The majority of community colleges in the state are waiting to make budget cuts until July 1, once the impact of the passage of Prop 30 is known. What we do know about Prop 30 is that at least some money is going to begin rolling into the community college system. The only unknown variable is how much. In any case, it will mean more money than we have today. So, we believe that these draconian cuts are unnecessary at this time. In fact, we have enough cash reserves to pay to save those programs more than four times over, while still remaining compliant with our board policy regarding cash reserves.
The cuts have vast implications for the people of Long Beach. The programs cut disproportionately impact minority and low income students, as the campus most impacted is located in one of the most diverse and poorest neighborhoods in Long Beach and enrollment in those programs is predominately comprised of minority students.
As the most diverse city in the US and the sixth most impoverished, these programs offer some of the only means of upward mobility available to students in our area, and must be spared. Our current leadership lacks integrity and has stopped serving the needs of their students and their constituents.
As student leaders on campus, we feel the responsibility to protect the interests of our most vulnerable students. A vote of “No Confidence,” which essentially means that we have lost faith in our leadership’s abilities to manage our complex institution, is a necessary step in sending a strong message to our Board and our Administration, that we will not tolerate these types of actions, when they will have disastrous implications on our local economy, employment and our fellow students. We stand in solidarity with those most impacted by this action, and are fighting to reverse this process.
We thank you for taking the time to read this petition, and hope that we have adequately expressed the urgency of the crisis that we're facing. Please sign.