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City College of San Francisco teachers protest layoffs, class cuts amid budget crisis

City College of San Francisco lays off dozens despite protests
City College of San Francisco lays off dozens despite protests 02:37

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees overwhelmingly voted late Friday evening to cut roughly 300 classes and 176 teachers in the next academic year.

The cuts are needed, the board claimed, to offset large budget shortfalls. Five trustees agreed with the proposal with Alan Wong being the lone dissenting vote.

During the debate,  a group of CCSF teachers and students looked on and voiced their concerns. Others called in to the meeting to voice their objections to the proposed cuts.

"I'm a single parent," said Patricia Miller, a theater performance instructor.  "It means I have no idea (what's going to happen) because the H.R. folks haven't told us when me and my daughter's health insurance are going to crash."

Miller studied theater at City College in the 90s.  She returned and has been teaching in the theater department for the last seven years.

"I got tenured and the pink slip in the same month," said Miller.

City college will lay off 38 full-time teachers and stop the re-hiring of 138 part-time teachers in the next academic year.  Full-time English instructor Alissa Buckley also received a layoff notice.

"I'm personally devastated because I love working here. I love my students," Buckley said. "But it's not about me.  It's about the opportunities that are going to be lost.  If you cut faculty, you're going to have to cut classes. Students are not going to have the opportunities that they need."

Before the vote, dozens of teachers and students had camped out in front of City College's student services building since Tuesday to protest the cuts.  On Thursday, police arrested about 10 protestors for blocking a street.

In 2012, City College served about 73,000 students.  Today, they have less than 25,000 students.  A lot of people left after the college almost lost its accreditation in 2013. 

College officials said if they don't fix their budget problems, they may lose it and be forced to shut down.

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