By Meyer Gorelick
A $2.7 million bridge fund to restore almost 300 Spring semester classes which were cut on the eve of registration in late November moved through the Budget and Finance Committee by a 2-1 vote on Wednesday, Jan. 15.
The full Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on whether or not to approve the $2.7 million at a meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 28. Supervisor Shamann Walton is confident that at least six supervisors will vote to approve, but is working to get eight on board to prevent a possible veto by Mayor London Breed, reported The San Francisco Examiner.
“These cuts were made without proper community input and the way that City College handled the situation has brought us to where we are now,” Walton said at the committee hearing. “The City needs to step up to support our most vulnerable populations who would be disproportionately impacted by these cuts.”
Former president of the City College Board of Trustees, Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, was the one vote against the funding during the Wednesday meeting while Walton and Supervisor Sandra Fewer voted yes.
Mandelman opposed funding the restoration and said that City College hasn’t officially asked for the funding.
“City College needs to get its fiscal house in order,” Mandelman said at the hearing.
City College Faculty Union, AFT 2121, Political Director James Tracy fears that rather than restore classes, the city will privatize them and have non-profit organizations offer the classes. This would dramatically reduce salaries and eliminate benefits for teachers of those courses, and also have a significant impact on curriculum.
“We have to mobilize now,” Tracy said.
“We need those votes and [Mandelman’s] vote is necessary,” AFT 2121 Vice President Wynd Kaufman said. “So he is somebody who has to be educated even more.”