Proposition 92

January 7, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Community College students across California will be paying a lot less for classes if voters pass Proposition 92 in next month's primary election.One of the provisions of prop 92 cuts community college fees substantially. But many educators are against the measure.

Right now community college students are paying 20 dollars a unit for classes if Prop 92 passes fees would drop to 15 dollars a unit.

If you figure a full load of classes in one year is 30 units, students now pay $600 dollars, under Prop 92 the cost would be $450 dollars a year a savings of $150 dollars.

Sounds good, but there are other aspects of Prop 92 that have many concerned.

Zwi Reznik, Fresno City College Professor: "Proposition 92 is basically about access."

Zwi Reznik has been teaching math at Fresno City College for 18 years. He says making community college more affordable gives more students access to education, better jobs and potentially more income.

Zwi Reznik: "Two thirds of the Cal State Graduates in this state started out at community college one third of the UC Graduates in this state started out at community colleges if anything increasing access to community colleges will generate more students going on to UC or Cal State.

Proposition 92 not only cuts current student fees to $15 dollars a unit it also stabilizes state funding for community colleges. It gives state community college districts a fixed piece of the state budget. In addition, It provides the community college system with formal state recognition in the constitution like a UC or a CSU right now community colleges are part of California's public school system.

Those who oppose Prop 92 are mostly concerned about its fiscal impact. Lisa Weston, Fresno State Professor and local president of the California Faculty Association is concerned money allocated to community colleges will take away funds for four year schools.

Lisa Weston: "Locking the state constitution into a spending mandate says a certain part of the budget has to be set aside for the community colleges is potentially a problem particularly in times of a fiscal downturn.

These two students at the Clovis International Center both pay their own community college fees but they may vote differently on Proposition 92.

Nadia Yasin: "It would allow me to focus my funds that I have now more on the gas that I use to get out here and just being able to live my life more affordably."

Trevor Misbach: "I think I'm undecided because yeah, it lowers prices for me but I don't know how it's going to affect the community at all."

The handful of students we spoke with today had actually not heard about Prop 92 before we told them so both sides of the issue may have some work to do before next month's primary election.


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