Claremont COURIER/Saturday, October 6, 2012 5
‘Disinvestment’ in higher
education at a critical stage
annual Howard R. Bowen Lecture. The
here’s good news and event drew an array of educators and
there’s bad news in CGU education students as well as rep-
higher education. resentatives from the state’s beleaguered
In bad news, higher education in Cal- community college system.
ifornia has been ravaged by cutbacks in Mr. Scott began his presentation with
the wake of the recession. In fact, sup- a joke about his status as a CGU Scholar
port for the state’s colleges began slip- in Residence for the 2012-2013 school
ping long before the recession hit. year.
The good news is while it will take “I was worried it might sound a little
time to reverse the long downward spi- pretentious,” he said. “I didn’t know if I
ral of Golden State colleges, it can be was suddenly supposed to start wearing
done. a tweed jacket and smoking a pipe.”
That was the message Jack Scott, who The details of the state’s educational
retired last month after 14 years as Cal- woes he next launched into, however,
ifornia Community Colleges Chancel- were not a cause for laughter.
lor, delivered at Claremont Graduate Mr. Scott spoke of the challenges fac-
ing the 3 prongs of higher education in COURIER photo/Steven Felschundneff
University this past Tuesday. Recently retired California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott makes an im-
His talk, “California’s Disinvestment DISINVESTMENT passioned plea for increased funding and commitment to Californiaʼs university and
in Higher Education,” was CGUs 29th continues on page 7 college system on Tuesday at Claremont Graduate University.
School board endorses Prop 30, salutes outgoing CEF president
‘more with less.’ When cuts continue and thanked Ms. Shoemaker and her team for
embers of the Clare-
continue, we will do less with less. We are the time they put in while scrambling to
mont Unified School at that point now,” Mr. Tonan said. find a new healthcare trust with the most
District Board of Ed- You, the board, know, and I The CFA’s current president David competitive prices and the best benefits.
Chamberlain, a Claremont High School Mr. Chamberlain also thanked Kevin
ucation have unanimously
trust the community knows, English teacher and debate coach, also Ward, assistant superintendent of human
voted to lend their support to spoke up at the meeting. resources, and his team for going out to
Proposition 30. that in the Claremont Unified It’s time that CUSD made a more sig- the school sites and working with the em-
At their Thursday meeting, each board nificant contribution to the health premi- ployees to ensure a smooth transition to
School District there is no ums of Claremont teachers, he said. This their new healthcare plans.
member expressed frustra-
tion with the failure of state CUSD more fat to cut. If there was year, the district made a one-time agree- Apparently, delicious baked goods are
legislators to come up with ment to pay more than they have in past worth a thousand words. On behalf of the
BOARD any before, that was cut years toward employee health plans, in CFA, Mr. Chamberlain presented Ms.
a meaningful solution to
California’s education funding crisis. acknowledgement of the austerities Shoemaker, Mr. Ward and other district
away years ago. CUSD staffers have faced in recent years. employees with boxes of treats from
While Governor Jerry Brown’s tax initia-
tive is far from a permanent fix, it does Joe Tonan That commitment needs to be made per- Some Crust Bakery in a show of appreci-
Sumner Elementary teacher, manent, he said. ation for their efforts.
buy the district time for maintaining cru- past Claremont Faculty
cial programs, said board member Sam Any cost of living adjustments em- Along with the cautionary financial
Association president ployees have received for the past 20
Mowbray. notes, there was also cause for accolades
“I feel I have no alternative but to sup- years have been far exceeded by inflation, on the board meeting agenda.
port this resolution,” added board mem- Mr. Chamberlain emphasized. In fact, in The board welcomed and swore in
ber Hilary LaConte. the wake of the recession, there have been Marantha Croomes, a Claremont High
The vote came after a brief report on no such adjustments. Healthcare premi- School senior who will serve as a non-
Proposition 30, which will be on the bal- cut $4.5 million from its education budget ums have been skyrocketing as well, he voting student board member for the
lot this November, by CUSD assistant su- within the past 4 years. Should the tax ini- noted. It’s a situation that is taking a dis- 2012-2013 school year. They also bid a
perintendent of business services Lisa tiative fail, he warned, the district will tinct toll on Claremont faculty. fond adieu to Liz Weigand, outgoing pres-
Shoemaker. have to make an additional $3.1 million “More and more of your teachers are ident of the Claremont Educational Foun-
Ms. Shoemaker cited a few of the grim in cuts. This will have a huge impact. taking a second, part-time job to make dation (CEF).
figures that have spurred the board’s sup- “If Proposition 30 does not pass, the ends meet,” he said. Ms. Weigand was recognized for her
port of the initiative, which aims to raise board will be faced with fiscal decisions Mr. Chamberlain’s comments were in outstanding efforts in raising funds to help
taxes for Californians who earn $250,000 like you have never faced before,” he said, response to a specific agenda item, the rat- support Claremont schools. CEF provides
or more annually for the next 7 years. noting worst-case scenarios such as a 3- ification of a new health care trust in crucial funding for art and music instruc-
Proposition 30 would also raise the state week reduction in the school year and a which CUSD will participate called the tion in the local elementary schools, and
sales tax by a quarter-cent for the next 4 precipitous rise in class sizes. Voluntary Employee Benefits Association funds technology at El Roble and Clare-
years. “You, the board, know, and I trust the (VEBA). A healthcare trust, Ms. Shoe- mont and San Antonio high schools.
If the tax initiative passes, it will net be- community knows, that in the Claremont maker explained, is a pool of school dis- “There are a number of people who
tween $6 and $9 billion per year, Ms. Unified School District there is no more tricts that have joined to leverage their strive to make Claremont better, and I’d
Shoemaker noted. If it fails, K-12 schools fat to cut. If there was any before, that was purchasing power. The school’s previous like to say that Liz Weigand is queen
will almost immediately be hit by a series cut away years ago,” Mr. Tonan said. “In healthcare pool recently dissolved after among these,” Mr. Stark said.
of mid-year trigger cuts totaling $6 billion. the last few years, it has been muscle, tis- the largest district in the association pulled Teams from Condit and Mountain
California schools, including those in sue and bone that have been sliced away.” out of the trust. View elementary schools also reported on
Claremont, stand to lose between $440 As an example of the damage to the Full-time employees will see no progress toward their respective educa-
and $470 per pupil. CUSD budget in recent years, he shared changes at this time to their health care tional goals, known as the Single School
Ms. Shoemaker’s report was followed that the size of freshman math classes at premiums, Ms. Shoemaker explained. Plans for Student Achievement. More on
by an appeal by Joe Tonan, Sumner Ele- CHS has risen from 20 students to 37 stu- Some part-time instructors will pay more their areas of progress and areas they need
mentary School teacher and past president dents, precluding the kind of individual- than they previously did for healthcare, to work on will be included in a future
of the Claremont Faculty Association, ized instruction that comes with a smaller she said, while others will pay less, de- edition of the COURIER.
urging the board to unanimously endorse student-to-teacher ratio. pending on how many family members —Sarah Torribio
they wish to cover. firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposition 30. “Mr. Stark, earlier this year, you rightly
Claremont, he reminded the board, has said that teachers cannot continue to do Both the board and Mr. Chamberlain
Claremont COURIER/Saturday, October 6, 2012 7
DISINVESTMENT colleges than are coming here from other
continued from page 5 states.
the state. These included steep spikes in There are projections that by 2025, 41
tuition at Cal State and UC schools. Much percent of jobs in the state will require a
of his talk centered on the state of com- college degree. At the rate we’re going to-
munity colleges, however, given his ex- day, only 35 percent of Californians will
pertise in the area. have the necessary training and credentials,
Mr. Scott emphasized that it’s vital for the former chancellor said.
the state to keep its community colleges “The only job growth happening in
operating, because they provide a step- America today are those jobs requiring
ping-stone to education and success for fi- higher education,” he said. “That’s why de-
nancially disadvantaged students. veloping nations like China and India are
Mr. Scott delivered a slide presentation pouring money into education. They know
reiterating some of the more disturbing that in a global economy, you have to ed-
trends that have emerged since the 2008- ucate your personnel.”
2009 school year, during which time $809 An investment in education comes with
million or 12 percent of the total operating a great pay-off, according to Mr. Scott. He
budget has been cut from the California cited a recent University of California
Community Colleges system. study that found that for every dollar the COURIER photo/Steven Felschundneff
state invests in a student, there is a $4.50 re- Former chancellor of the California Community Colleges Jack Scott speaks with
Community college course selections Mt. San Antonio College President William Scroggins on Tuesday at CGU.
have been reduced by 24 percent, to the turn. The return is the product of higher
point where students are being turned earnings resulting in higher tax revenue, as years, that figure rises to $1 million. types of crimes that can be considered a
away, while non-credit course offerings well as a reduction in the need for social It’s time for those in higher education to “strike” toward a penalty of life imprison-
have shrunk by 38 percent. As a result, en- programs ranging from unemployment to speak up, he said. ment to those that are “serious or violent.”
rollment in the state’s community colleges welfare to imprisonment. “Educators often abstain from politics, With fewer classes, higher tuition and
has slipped by more than 485,000 students Causes have long history but we’ve got to desert our books for a lit- less support services like child care and fi-
in just 3 academic years. How did the state get to this point? tle while and go to the legislators and say nancial aid, times are hard for today’s col-
Should Proposition 30 pass, he re- According to Mr. Scott, support for Cal- we need more money for higher educa- lege students. Nonetheless, Mr. Scott—
minded the audience, community colleges ifornia education began slipping in 1978 tion,” he said. who holds a PhD in history from
in California would receive $210 million in with the passage of Proposition 13, which Along with emphasizing that California Claremont Graduate University and a
additional funds in 2012-13. While much seriously limited the amount of property colleges need to become more efficient, Master of Divinity from Yale University—
of that money would be used to pay off de- taxes the state could impose. The change, Mr. Scott advocated for the passage of remains convinced that higher education is
ferments, the increased funding would net seen as a boon by voters, caused an enor- Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30, a worth the sacrifice.
an additional 20,000 seats in community mous decline in school funding, much of tax initiative that would bring in an esti- It’s about math, he said.
college classrooms. which is derived from property taxes. mated $6 to $9 billion annually to fund ed- High school graduates earn an average
Should the tax initiative fail, community Funding for education, and state funding ucation in the state. Should the measure of $27,122 annually, while those with a
colleges stand to lose more than the $210 as a whole, began to shrink further with the pass, 11 percent of revenue collected college degree garner $52,248 per year.
million promised by the governor. They 1994 passage of the Three Strikes Law in would go to fund the community college The salary for someone with a graduate de-
will face a series of mid-year trigger cuts to- California. Under its terms, any person system. gree is even higher, $74,423.
taling $338 million. Some 180,000 fewer who commits 3 felonies is sentenced to life “Proposition 30 may be a Band-Aid, “You’ll earn a million dollars more if
students will be served as colleges are imprisonment. Since the law’s enactment, but we need to stop bleeding some way, you stay in school,” he said.
forced to redline more course offerings. somehow,” Mr. Scott said. —Sarah Torribio
the number of people imprisoned in Cali- email@example.com
Between tuition hikes, class cuts and an fornia has grown by 8 times, Mr. Scott He also advocated for the passage of
increase in unprepared high school gradu- said. Safety in the state, he asserted, has not Proposition 36, which would limit the
ates, the college graduation rate in in the increased.
state is slipping, Mr. Scott noted. Addi- The financial toll of “overzealous im-
tionally, California students are increas- prisonment” has been devastating, ac-
ingly seeking refuge in out-of-state col- cording to Mr. Scott. The cost of main-
leges, he said. For the first time, more taining a person in a state prison for one
students are leaving California for 4-year year is $45,000. Over the course of 25