CCSF Opens New Campus Amidst Financial Uncertainty
By: Dwight Alexander
After years of construction, City College of San Francisco finally opened the doors of its newest campus a few weeks back. Located in Chinatown at Kearny and Washington streets this state of the art building will serve 7,500 students previously studying at smaller sites leased from churches and SFUSD. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “Residents ofChinatown have been requesting better facilities since 1994.”
A Valuable Community Resource
The opening of this Chinatown/North Beach Campus is a gesture of CCSF’s mission to provide San Francisco’s diverse pool of residents of all ages and backgrounds with a gateway to higher education opportunities. With animmigrant population of near 40 percent, CCSF, and in particular this new campus, will serve as a portal to obtaining an education and access to opportunities for success in our city. It is also a critical resource for immigrants to learn and reinforce English-speaking skills.
Challenges Require Innovative Solutions
Even in the face of this new campus opening, CCSF is currently facing a tough challenge. According to the Chronicle, it could lose its accreditation because it has “failed to operate in a fiscally sound manner.” In laymen’s terms, CCSF’s high spending is at odds with ongoing funding cuts from the state level. Since 2008, its budget has been slashed 13 percent- or 26 million dollars. Worst Case Scenario: CCSF could face campus closures as early as 2013.
In the days, weeks and months ahead we remain optimistic that solutions will arise to address CCSF’s financial problems so that it can continue to provide affordable education. The College has until October 15 to produce an action plan outlining how to address their fiscal challenges. They have already produced a preview plan moving forward. The fate of the City College budget relies heavily on the outcomes of statewide ballot measure Prop 30 and local SF Prop A. Therefore please remember to vote come November 6th!
Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story.