California’s Teachers, Community Colleges Take Huge Hits; Funding for Illegal Immigrant Students Rolls On
Published on April 6th, 2011
How many Americans have to suffer before someone steps up to fight for us against the negative fiscal and social impact of unrelenting immigration? Californians may have the worst of it, especially those who are part of the state’s crumbling education system. Whether you’re a teacher or a student, California’s multibillion dollar cost to provide services for illegal immigrants has threatened, if not ended, your job prospects and greatly diminished your opportunity for an advanced education. Because of California’s deepening budget crisis, nearly 22,000 California teachers could be unemployed by the next school year. On March 15, school districts handed out 21,905 pink slips to comply with their legal deadline to send preliminary layoff notices. Last year, 26,000 teachers received pink slips; 60 percent were eventually dismissed. That’s another heavy dose of bad news for California schools that are already in total disarray. According to a 2009 report by the Institute for Democracy, Education and Access at U.C.L.A, California ranks at or near the bottom nationally in academic performance, student-teacher ratios in middle and high school, access to guidance counselors and the percentage of seniors who go directly to four-year colleges. More than high schools are in jeopardy. Because of a break down in budget talks, California’s 112 community colleges will have to absorb an $800 million funding reduction that will deny enrollment to 400,000 students and result in deep cuts in the numbers of classes offered. California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott summed the crisis up this way: “Students seeking to transfer to Cal State and the University of California will be denied access, those students unable to get into Cal State and UC and who desperately need to get into a community college will be denied, as well as those who are out of work and are coming to us for retraining.” Long Beach City College will cut 222 course sections this fall, reject 1,000 full-time students who can’t get into the remaining classes and lose more than 30 staff positions. If you’re unemployed and need training, that’s too bad. And if you’re a diligent high school student who aspires to a university degree that will lead to a good job, your chances for success have just taken a serious blow. As usual, however, funding for illegal immigrants enrolled in California’s K-12 public schools grinds on. To see how easy it would be to make up the $800 million cut that brought community colleges to their knees, consider that California has a K-12 enrollment of 1.5 million non-English speaking students. Approximately, one-third are illegal aliens, one-third the anchor baby citizens of illegal aliens and one-third legal immigrants. Assuming that, conservatively, it costs California taxpayers $8,000 per student per annum, then the aggregate expense to educate the public school non-English speaking sector is $12 billion. Even if my figures are wrong by half (but they’re not), California could save $6 billion if Washington D.C. got serious about immigration. California may never get its non-English speaking school population to zero. But if the federal government would drastically reduce legal immigration, end automatic birthright citizenship for the American-born children of illegal aliens and shore up our border, then California citizens would have a chance to succeed.