Amidst the climactic changes taking place within the municipality of Stockton, a city that Forbes’ Magazine has rated twice in recent years as “America’s Most Miserable City,” students at Delta College are seemingly unperturbed.
Stockton is facing many socioeconomic aliments that have clouded over the city and began to rain down the woes of impending bankruptcy, with city council members filing for Chapter 9 protection statues, local real estate being listed at some of the lowest property values in the nation, high unemployment rates, a rash of crime and violence which includes the city’s highest-to-date murder rate.
To add to these already problematic conditions further reductions to city employees wages and benefits has resulted in the Stockton Police Department seeing a startling number of its’ officers seeking employment with other law enforcement agencies offering better accommodations in what has been coined a “police exodus.”
And yet, despite these despairingly trying times, students at Delta College still enroll and fill up classes in droves eager to pursue the once easily assessable admissions into the California Community College system, renown for its equal opportunity educational assistance programs and services, only to find the safe haven of higher learning has also been compromised by state-wide tier one budget cuts, which includes $803 million deductions in community college funding.
As a reflex to these budget cuts students here at Delta are now confronted by price increases in tuition, text books, parking permits and general merchandise taxes.
Also resulting from these cuts are decreases in enrollment allotments and appropriated funds for specialized programs leaving many would-be students left out the pursuit of higher learning.
One student, in response to all the increases in fees, said: “We have to vote to keep the education system alive because its being assassinated, it’s not fair to those of us who genuinely need the assistance.”
Along with the progression of this fall semester students find ways to adjust to the hikes in fees and embrace for the expectation of even more increases with more expected cuts in the spring.