In what AFT 1521 organizers are calling a “partial win,” Calbright College will see a portion of its budget slashed in the upcoming state budget. The college will lose $5 million in ongoing funds as well as $40 million from $117 million in unspent funds that it had previously received from the state in one-time funding.
Guild members had joined with California Federation of Teachers (CFT) as well as other community college districts to call for a complete defunding of the state’s online college, labeling Calbright an overbudgeted and failed project. Detractors argues that the earmarked funds should more logically be applied to faculty, students, and services in public community college districts, such as the LACCD.
“We provide all the classes that Calbright provides in an online format, and much more,” said Guild Organizing Director Chase Golding.
The local’s organizing drive included more than 350 members making calls and sending letters to Governor Newsom and state legislators, arguing that Calbright should be completely defunded and eliminated. Political Director Natalina Monteiro and Governmental Affairs Director John McDowell also played key roles in the campaign.
“Originally, Governor Newsom was completely opposed to cutting anything,” Golding said. “We were able to overcome that to get this partial win and we will revisit this campaign in the future.”