State Cuts Funds to Outreach Programs

It’s no secret that the state of California is having trouble managing its money, and it seems to have decided that funding for many educational programs is expendable.
Community college students have seen their fees more than double since 2003. Art and music classes in high schools have been dying off, and it looks like many of UC Irvine’s Student Initiated Academic Preparation programs may soon expire.
Anne Chua, a third-year law and society major and an SIAP commissioner, is trying to raise student awareness of just how drastic the state cuts have been for SIAP clubs in recent years.
Clubs like Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlan want to ‘encourage and motivate high school students to seek secondary education,’ according to Chua.
These groups need money to pay for tutoring materials like SAT and AP preparation books.
The way things stand right now, SIAP programs won’t have the cash to meet these groups’ requests in the future, according to Chua.
‘At this moment, we’re worried that we’re the only ones who realize how important [this situation is],’ Chua said.
During the 2002-2003 school year, UCI’s SIAP programs received $12,600 in funding from the state. Since then, the state has significantly cut funding every year; during the 2005-2006 school year, they received $5,700 from the state, less than half of what they were given three years ago. So far this year, SIAP has not received a dime from the state and students are not sure if they will get anything.
‘The only money we have this year is $32,338.83, and that is all carried over,’ Chua said. ‘About $19,000 is carried over from last year, and $13,000 was in leftover funds from 2004.’
Presently, SIAP groups are hoping to create a student coalition to help resolve their funding problem.
‘We will have a centralized network that includes everyone that the problem pertains to,’ Chua said. ‘Then we all can collaborate as a group to address and resolve the problems of funding.’
Chua hopes that such a coalition would enable them to effectively lobby the state and brainstorm other ways to fund programs to effectively reach high school students.
As of now, the future for these organizations is unclear.
‘Last year, we had $67,000,’ Chua said. ‘This year, funds may be depleted by the winter quarter.