Budget cuts threaten student tutoring hours

By Leonardo Cervantes

The Learning Center lost a grant that will start to affect staff by winter, which will result in fewer tutoring hours. It has already lost some CALWORKS tutors when migrating online. 

Math tutors were not cut, but now they are down eight tutors and have decided to reduce their hours. Some tutors graduated and their positions were not filled. 

It also gives students individualized attention that they don’t get in classrooms. 

With a tutor, a student can slowly go step by step on any issue. It also helps keep students on track during vacation breaks.

 All of the East Los Angeles College learning labs are currently tutoring online due to the COVID-19 virus. It was a mandatory switch from on-campus tutoring to online for all tutoring services.  

All centers offer tutoring sessions and some centers are offering workshops, like writing strong topic sentences and APA format via Zoom. 

If any student is struggling in class and needs help, he or she can visit the ELAC tutoring website. 

Administrators are working within the budgets that they have to provide the best services available. 

Dean Gina Chelstrom said through AB705, ELAC has been given additional funds to support math and English this fall and spring, a total of $389,742. However, such funds are only guaranteed for one year. 

“The Learning Center will not be able to recieve an Career-Technical Education (CTE) funding for  accounting, business and law. This will affect tutoring in those areas beginning winter session,” she said.

There are currently no additional funds that administrators are aware of at this time to further support the labs.

So far there have been no cuts toward tutorings. β€œThe centers have not been affected by any budget cuts in the Liberal Arts and Sciences Division,” Chelstrom said. 

There have been repeated warnings to be prepared for at least a 10% cut, due to the current budget crisis. 

Compared to last year, ELAC has been budgeted roughly the same amount of funds per lab through LAS.

β€œThe program 100 Fund is the general fund for academics and could be the most affected if there are any cuts,” Chelstrom said. 

This would especially affect the Language Lab and the Learning Center. Cutting the support centers would have a significant negative impact on ELAC students from all departments, so administrators are trying to avoid it as much as possible. 

If there are any future cuts from and of the funding sources it could potentially affect the labs. 

Budget cuts toward tutoring will be detrimental to students that are trying to succeed in their endeavors. Student workers depend on tutoring hours to make ends meet, so a budget cut would hurt them financially.

If 100 is cut, the Learning Center could potentially cut tutoring in chemistry, physics, psychology and sociology. 

Cuts to the Reading and Writing Center would not only be detrimental for the English Department, which has embedded tutors for 60 classes, but, it would also affect departments that assign written assignments; such as the social sciences, history, psychology, sociology or art history. 

The Modern Languages Department and the ESL program would be affected if the language lab’s budget was reduced. 

The entire Math Department would be affected if the Math Center’s budget was reduced. 

Whenever there is a general budget shortfall, student support services are highly vulnerable to cuts because student workers are the first ones who will be laid off.  

Vice President of Liberal Arts and Sciences Ruben Arenas and Vice President of Student Services Julie Benavides have been very hands-on and supportive during these difficult times since they both oversaw lab funding.

Arenas, Benavides and the rest of the directors are in a dilemma because they must make a tough decision on tutors.

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