Summer session sacrificed; college still seeking more ways to make up shortfall
Solano College’s cancellation of summer session is leaving students in the lurch, and is just part of a series of proposed reductions the school must make to handle an unexpected $3 to $5 million dollar funding shortfall.
“This is prudent financial planning to avoid potential budget calamities in the future,” said Jowel Laguerre, superintendent/president of Solano College, in an email to faculty and staff last week announcing the summer session cancellation. “This decision alone does not solve our issues; but it represents a significant portion of the cuts we need to make.”
“The estimate is 240 sections [cut],” Laguerre stated in an e-mail to the Tempest.
Yulian Ligioso, vice-president of finance and administration at Solano College, presented the current fiscal outlook of Solano to the SCC Governing Board at a special meeting last week.
In Ligioso’s proposal, athletics, the pool, the theater, child care, and additional course sections in the fall and spring could be on the chopping block.
According to Ligioso, Solano is facing a budget deficit of $815,000 for the current fiscal year of 2011-2012. This deficit must be cleared before the new fiscal year starts on July 1, 2012.
The Financial and Budget Planning Advisory Council (FABPAC) of Solano College recommended that Solano cut all summer classes. The savings amount to $1 million saved.
For fiscal year 2012-2013, Solano is facing $3 to $5 million dollars in cuts.
“My personal position is that I’m concerned for students. [The loss of summer session] affects their graduation,” Debbie Luttrell-Williams, president of the classified employees union, and administrative assistant to the School of Career Technical Education and Business Information stated.
“We don’t know the impact on 12-month employees, yet,” Luttrell-Williams stated.
“No one favors reductions,” said Arturo Reyes, executive vice-president of academic and student affairs.
“By cutting summer it is the least impact on students. Students rely heavily on fall and spring semesters,” Reyes said.
“We, as a union, did not have a position [on cutting summer school],” said Charlene Snow in an email. Snow is the faculty union president and a math professor at Solano. “We see the importance of summer classes to students who need one course to transfer or who want to prepare for college level courses by completing basic skills during the summer.”
“ It is also important to athletes, who prepare during the summer to compete in the fall,” Snow said. “We faculty are told that because of more state cuts to community colleges that more cuts in classes are inevitable. The question becomes, what can we afford to cut? Cuts hurt students,” Snow said.
“I’m going to have to stay extra semesters [with the loss of summer school],” art major Monica Barber said.
“It’s our schooling, they didn’t tell the students. There might be Occupy Solano [because of the loss of summer session] and I would join,” Barber said.
Health and nutrition major Carol Baker said that “I know a few students who are upset with the loss of summer school. I enjoy summer session because of the warm weather.”
“I have to stay a whole another year; just need six more credits to graduate,” art major Cecilia Arias said.
“Is the Governing Board going to listen to us? I would join the Occupy Solano and pay more for summer school courses. I don’t want to drive to Napa College or Diablo Valley College,” early childhood education major Michelle Anderson said.