The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Unfair cuts hamper disabled students’ success

Diablo Valley College has been in some major trouble since the start of fall 2009. Our state legislators and governor have made deep budget cuts to our now crumbling Disabled Student Services program, as well as to EOPS, CalWORKS and Matriculation.


I started at DVC a few years ago, as a DSS student. I was assured of doing well, because I could go to scheduled tutoring each week for whatever I was studying. 


This tutoring provided me with study strategies I would never have otherwise experienced.  Learning Skills 60 was a means for me and other DSS students to gain a better understanding of our class material.


Then fall 2009 semester began, and the “tragedy of budget cuts” hit our DSS program.    


I attended my first classes and then went to get a tutor for the semester. But when I got there, I found the program had been canceled because of the budget cut. This was not easy to stomach, as math is enough trouble for me. Without a tutor to help me, I have no choice but to delay my transfer to a four-year university by a year.


I’ve asked other DSS students how the budget cuts affected them. 


One student said she found it more difficult without tutoring. 


“It is already hard enough to do English and math with tutors,” she told me.  “Therefore I had to drop those classes.”


Another student said the DSS cuts had caused her to fall behind.

“Also, I have had to drop a class,” she said, “and the lack of tutoring is driving me crazy.”


To find out how badly the DSS program had been cut, I spoke with district Vice Chancellor Kindred Murillo. 


She said funding for DSS was cut by 48.76 percent, EOPS was hit with a 41.4 percent reduction, Matriculation was sliced by 51 percent and Cal-WORKS took a 47 percent downfall.  


When I asked how much DVC’s general budget fund was reduced to $2.8 million or 4.2 percent for the current year, she said.


It strikes me as odd there would be such a huge difference between 4.2 percent of the general fund budget and double-digit cuts to our special programs.


Dr. Murillo said the governor was always supportive of our schools until this year.


But the deep cuts indicate to me the governor and state legislators are biased against poor families and students with disabilities.


How can it be otherwise, when DSS and these other programs were cut 10 or more times harder than the general fund budget?


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Unfair cuts hamper disabled students’ success