People fund education in new ways

Education Funding Cartoon by Kien Ha


By Rudy Trujillo


It is time for East Los Angeles College to stop waiting for the state to fund them and look for money elsewhere.

It’s sad to see people hoping that Californians will approve taxing the public more in order to provide just enough money to keep the schools from drastically cutting what are already limited services in many schools and colleges.

According to a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll released on Friday, 54 percent of people who were read the ballot proposition over the phone support it now, down from 64 percent that did in March.

Asking people for money in a climate like this is not easy, even if it is the best solution at this time for the crisis in education funding.

Let’s not give up on Proposition 30, but let’s also look into other ways of funding education.

Why don’t departments start asking for grants from the private sector to supplement what is obviously lacking in government?

Businesses talk a lot about corporate responsibility.  Corporations give money to mostly science-related departments for programs specific to their industry.

We always hear about grants given to the science, math, engineering and technology departments.  What about the disciplines that don’t focus so much on profit for companies but offer important critical thinking skills and writing skills?

Those departments could ask for money from companies that have a similar vision to their subject.

Maybe some grants could be used specifically to keep classes open.

There are plenty of businesses in Southern California doing quite well, at least enough to give some money for education.

The college could definitely use the money, and businesses could benefit from the positive publicity.

Even if it’s not an industry that the college offers a major for, if the company is willing to provide money, then why not ask for it?

If you’re needy, you’ll go out and ask for help.

Has this been done by the people who should be raising funds for the college?

If not, then it’s the responsibility of the staff and students to also take up the cause of raising money. There’s no shame in asking for money when it’s for a good cause and done honestly.

Some departments on campus hold fundraisers to supplement the money they get from the state. Any help is appreciated at this time.

Departments could enlist the help of students who know how to write well and, with the help of college officials savvy in the way of budgets and politics, perhaps some good could come out of this.

Of course there’s an opposing argument that says that administrators or government officials will see that departments are self-sustaining and will no longer see the need to provide as much or any money where it would go before.

That will require strong lobbyists at the local and state level to make sure that the government fulfills its obligation to fund education and that it understands that students and teachers are going out of their way  because they couldn’t do their job well.

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