ccsf.jpgThe City College of San Francisco is responding to potentially crippling budget cuts by investing in expansion.

The college will resume summer classes this year after canceling most of its summer program last year, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Alice Murillo said.

The summer session, which will offer around 1,000 classes across most of the school’s 10 campuses, is part of the school’s decision to take advantage of “growth dollars,” Murillo said.

Growth dollars are state funds earmarked for schools that have met their designated capacity and plan to expand, she said.

“We’ve made the commitment,” Murillo said. “This is solid money that could continue through to next year.”

City College is hoping this investment will help prepare them for next year’s budget cuts, the severity of which will depend on whether or not the governor’s proposed budget is passed.

Brown’s proposal would make cuts in education funding, but it would also extend current tax measures for an additional five years.

Brown’s proposed budget, which projected a $25.4 billion state budget gap over the next 18 months, aims to cut state spending by $12.5 billion and temporarily extend several current taxes, according to his website.

“Everything will go to the voters,” Murillo said. “If they do not approve anything on the ballot, we could be facing $25 million cuts. That would be devastating for our students and our community.”

The looming budget crisis is bringing about partnerships among some of the city’s public schools’ as they prepare for the cuts.

Murillo said City College has been talking with the San Francisco Unified School District and San Francisco State University about collaborating and offering concurrent classes.

“We have to leverage what we can and support each other however we can for the students’ benefit,” she said.

One way, she said, would be to offer summer courses for high school students if public high schools are reduce their summer programs.

The summer session will include for-credit classes as well free not-for-credit classes that will cover a wide variety of topics, Murillo said.

Erika Heidecker, Bay City News

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