City College of San Francisco cuts classes in attempt to balance budget 

As many as 800 classes will be cut from City College of San Francisco as the institution tries to balance one of its worst budgets in recent history.

The cuts may affect the ability of students to transfer to four-year universities. Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration Peter Goldstein said many students may not get the classes they need. But he said core classes, including math and English, will not be reduced.

Tamara Powell, a 19-year-old Berkeley resident, said she hopes to transfer to CSU Los Angeles or CSU Long Beach in two years.

“It’s not right,” Powell said of the college cutting class sections. “I want to be able to take the proper classes that are transferable.”

The incoming first-year student worried that the cuts could keep her from getting all the courses she wants to fulfill her major’s requirements. Powell has already registered for math and English, but said taking her fashion merchandising courses may be more difficult.

Cutting up to 800 classes is just one proposal that will be presented to the Board of Trustees this evening. Others include attrition through retirements and further consolidating personnel, Goldstein said.

There will be no layoffs or staff concessions necessary, he said.

Even so, these are the worst cuts the college has proposed in recent years.

“It’s a very deep challenge,” he said. “But there’s a big reduction in funding from the state that supports enrollment.”

In May, Gov. Jerry Brown released his revised budget. Although education is being cut at all levels, Goldstein said, the new budget was better than it could have been.

The governor is proposing a $1 billion budget for higher education, which means community colleges will get $290 million. As a result, some 140,000 students will not get the classes they need, according to a news release from the state community college system.

City College is looking to balance its budget by cutting up to $22 million. Goldstein said his office will present a $188 million budget. The college must submit a balanced budget to Sacramento by June 30.

The college offers classes in more than 100 academic disciplines and serves more than 100,000 students on 10 campuses.

Trustee President John Rizzo said he didn’t support the idea of cutting hundreds of classes.

“My feeling is to save as many classes as possible, other things should be cut first,” he said. “It’s looking bleak.”

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