Saving City College - Page 4

Disparate groups are coming together to help rescue the threatened institution. What are they up against?

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Students and faculty engage with passersby in front of CCSF Mission campus during Sunday Streets Aug. 5 event.
PHOTO BY ARA BLOOMBERG

Some students went elsewhere, but many appear to have just abandoned the education system.

"We looked at two or three colleges around Compton and none of us had a significant increase in students from the Compton district" enrolling, Garten said.

In other words, it looked like many disillusioned students had simply dropped out, something that nobody wants to see in San Francisco.

MOVING FORWARD

Just over two months remain for CCSF and its supporters to hash out a preliminary plan. Aiding them is a team of experts that will create a detailed report on everything related to the college's financial woes — possibly the most critical problem area.

The Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, or FCMAT, explained their process to the college on August 3.

Without revealing any specific details, Michelle Plumbtree, the chief management analyst of FCMAT, warned an audience of a couple dozen interested people that its report would seem negative, but only because that's exactly what the report is supposed to be: a critical review of problem areas.

"You guys are doing incredible things...But that's not what we talk about [in our reports]," Plumbtree said.

Mike Hill, another FCMAT team member, succinctly layed out the biggest obstacles to City College's fiscal future. "This is not a one year problem...We're looking at three years. What makes that complicated is the governor's tax, and the parcel tax," Hill said, referring to Prop. 30 and the San Francisco ballot measure City College sponsored. "There are four scenarios... It's not predictable." Prop. 30, the tax measure placed on the ballot by Governor Jerry Brown, wouldn't raise new revenue for community colleges. If it passes, they simply break even, staving off more drastic cuts. But the parcel tax offers more hope for CCSF, if city voters approve it. It would free up $14 million in revenue for this fiscal year, restoring some of what was lost and prevent the deep cuts and scaled back mission that the school's support most fear.

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