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IVC searching for ways to lessen blow of CalWORKS program cuts

March 29, 2002|STAFF REPORT

Imperial Valley College administrators are working to lessen the impact to more than 180 students who would be affected by statewide cuts in the California Community College's CalWORKs program.

Gov. Gray Davis has proposed to virtually eliminate the college program, reducing it from a $65 million program to $7 million. The remaining funds would be designated for childcare.

"His proposal would devastate our CalWORKs effort," said IVC President Gilbert Dominguez.

The CalWORKs program locally serves students with intake and assessment, academic counseling, work-study assignments, childcare, job counseling and placement assistance as well as short-term course offerings.

The proposed Davis budget would slash IVC's $612,449 program by 89 percent, leaving only $70,000 for childcare.

"This is still another hit on our community college system," Dominguez said, pointing out that state financing for community colleges has traditionally been a low priority in Sacramento. He urged Valley residents to contact their legislators and the governor's office.


"This is just one more example of how financing for the state's community college system has been lagging behind enrollment in a time when workers are seeking retraining due to job losses," Dominguez said.

This latest budget cut will be felt throughout the 108-college system. Specifically,

· A $144 million return on investment will be lost to local communities from lost work-study wages and payments to local businesses;

· More than 47,000 CalWORKs students will not have adequate resources to participate in programs that help them prepare for a livable wage job in their community;

· 18,000 CalWORKs students will no longer receive job development assistance.

Locally, Dominguez said, "We are taking appropriate and prudent actions in case the funds go away."

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