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State Killing Education

March 17, 1993

In your story regarding the Ventura County Community College District board of trustees meeting March 2, in which Greg Cole was portrayed as a defender of good riding in on his white horse to save students from class cuts, you either chose to neglect or did not understand the three main issues that prevented many of us at the meeting from cheering the good Knight Cole.

1) The board spent much of the evening passing the blame for the class cuts from itself to the college presidents, saying that it was unaware that such cuts were taking place. However, as Vice Chancellor John Tallman explained at the beginning of the meeting, there were only two possible places for cuts to take place: in the classroom or in support (staff, supplies, etc.).

2) AB 1725 demanded shared governance on the campuses and in district decisions. Yet students have been systematically denied that representation. For example, it has been well noted that over the course of the meetings during this school year, Student Trustee Jason Henderson has frequently been denied notice of ad hoc meetings and has received necessary materials too late for review for scheduled meetings.

3) The threat to make the $800,000 in cuts smacks precisely of the bullying tactics and political posturing that has plagued Sir Greg's reign as Defender of the Faith. It is exactly the micro-management and disregard for the wishes and needs of the colleges that has turned faithful servants into revolutionaries.

In conclusion, I applaud Trustee Pete Tafoya's call to arms--each of us and the board as a governing body must rise against the governor and state legislators by expressing our outrage at the continuing destruction of the educational system in the name of balanced budgets. If California is to have any strength at all, it must not abandon that which made it a power in the first place: its outstanding, open, educational system.

ELANE O'ROURKE

Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Moorpark College

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