Relief fund started for college instructors who lost classes

College educators are taking a hit amid the COVID-19 pandemic with lower student enrollment.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- College educators are taking a hit amid the COVID-19 pandemic with lower student enrollment.

In January, Keith Ford, President, State Center Federation of Teachers, AFT 1533, told Action News that if enrollment numbers didn't increase, job cuts would follow.

"Unfortunately, a lot of my fears came true, " said Ford.

Lower student enrollment means fewer classes offered. This semester that means over 250 part-time teachers are without work.

"For about 60% of our part-timers, this is their primary source of income, so the bite is particularly sharp for them," said Ford. "Since this is a part-time job, there are no benefits, so not only do they not have work, they don't have any benefits to fall back on."

Clovis Community College teacher Breanna Burton knows this struggle all too well.

"After getting the decline in class offerings for the adjuncts, we were worried this is where we were going to end up, with no classes at all," said Burton.

The mom of three says it's been a big hit for her family.

"It's been a big impact," said Burton. "I went from working to full-time, stay-at-home mom, so it's made things tight."

The staff has started an adjunct relief fund. They're trying to raise $50,000 for their fellow teachers and colleagues. The goal of the GoFundMe account is to help adjunct instructors with their day-to-day needs.

"$50,000 divided by 250 is not much, and we really want to offer a substantial amount," said Ford.

So far, they've raised nearly $20,000 but say it's not nearly enough to help families like the Burtons.

"It would make a huge difference. It would just help keep the bills and the household things going," said Burton.

Here's the link to donate.
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