Students Unaware of Budget Facts

Story By: Frank Lopez, Rampage Reporter

Are you aware that your tuition bill could go up next summer?

How much do you know of the budget shortfalls facing the college?

Do you know the implications of the recently passed ABX1 32?

If you know little or nothing about these issues, you are not alone. Fresno City College students are generally unaware of the consequences of ABX1 32. According to a snap survey conducted on the campus on Friday and Monday, 96 out of 100 students were unaware of the bill or what it entails.

The assembly bill, passed through the California legislature, establishes an education funding system in which the superintendent of public instruction apportions qualifying school districts state aid funds in an amount that is not to exceed its revenue limit. The signing of the ABX1 32 will defer fee increases from Jan. 2012 until after the summer of 2012, thereby leading to cuts in more classes and reduction in the number of students who will be able to enroll in classes.

If signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the ABX1 32 bill will defer the price of each college credit unit from $36 to $46 after the summer of 2012. California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott praised the legislation. “This bill [ABX1 32] gives colleges and students adequate time to prepare for increased fees if they become necessary,” he said.

Many students at FCC are aware of budget cuts and the reduction in services and number of classes but seemed oblivious to the passing of the ABX1 32 bill. FCC student, Anthony Lujano, expressed his lack of information on the bill. “I didn’t hear about it or see anything on the news,” he said.  Another student, Kevin Marchini, also said he had no idea about the bill.

Associated Student Government (ASG) president Cindy Quiralte said that ASG is working on informing more students on the budget crisis.

“We have been speaking up in our classes individually. We are planning on doing more of that. We are coordinating on more events in the free speech area as well as just generally reaching out to students and letting them know,” said Quiralte.”I do challenge students to take the initiative, and once they have information, share it. We need students to be aware of these issues so we can unite and have a strong argument for education.”

ASG also mentioned the passing of the ABX1 32 bill on their official Facebook page.

ASG president pro tem Daesha Black admitted that there are not a lot of people on campus who know about the impending budget crisis. “It’s really our job as ASG to let the students know what is going on on campus. I went in and spoke to my classes and told them about the reserve money and told them what was going on,” Black said. “They [students] were shocked. Teachers were shocked. I do hope that in the future students can be more aware of what goes on behind closed doors in those meetings about the budget.”