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Tin Cup for Adult Ed?
updated: Sep 26, 2012, 2:31 PM
By Charmaine Jacobs
The pink slips are posted for teachers of Adult Ed classes. Once again, classes are being cancelled. Pink
sheets of paper are taped to classroom doors to tell registered students that their classes are gone. On
Sept. 27 the SBCC Board of Trustees will vote on whether or not to enact the recommendations of the
SBCC staff who have been steering the program, with questionable success, for the last four years.
Those staff recommendations deserve further scrutiny from the Santa Barbara Community. The Board of
Trustees should postpone its decision until 2014.
Current staff, most of them hired during the former SBCC President's insular reign, have proven divisive
and floundering. Simple budgetary questions go unanswered Public information is misleading.
Community discourse is shot through with "us vs them" politics that have no place in higher education.
It is important for the community to know that the funding is still available to make most of the classes
free. It is, according to the Chancellors Office, the charge of the local decision makers to determine
how much they want to allocate to each of the three main functions of the College: 1) for-credit classes
that lead to a degree, 2) non-credit classes that lead to a certificate or which specifically serve an
English Learner population and 3) Adult Ed classes focussed on lifelong learning. The College has
decided that it will drastically change the life long learning function of the College.
The defining element of this change is that Adult Ed will be handed a tin cup and the community will be
asked to chip in $500,000 to $750,000 each year to keep classes open.
Even more alarming is the College's disregard for the historic uses of the Schott Center and the Wake
Center. The acquisition and improvements to these buildings was an act of trust. The community was
donating to support Adult Ed. as it has been for the last 90 years. The College is on the edge of
disregarding that trust.
Tell the Board of Trustees what You think. They meet Thursday Sept. 27 in the MacDougall Auditorium
at 4:00. Or, post your thoughts here.
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