The School of Education (SE) received a $290,000 in state funding for the 2009-10 fiscal year, a reduction that totaled 3.9 percent of its financial base.
The school’s administrators did their best to absorb the reduction while still maintaining the quality of the school’s various programs, said Marie Carter-Dubois, assistant dean of administration and finance for the School of Education.
“The dean and I consulted with the faculty and executive committee to determine which areas can absorb some of the cuts,” she said. “We tried to protect the program the most that we can and we used a lot of our reserves to achieve this.”
However, despite the administrators’ efforts, several significant programs underwent a cut in funds.
This included a 15 percent reduction to The Cooperative Research and Extension Services for Schools (CRESS), which administers and funds various education projects in the Sacramento area.
The school also planned to extend education programs and services to more populations in the central valley. The SE had to abandon these plans after the project received a 90 percent cut to its budget.
One of the school’s most vital units, its Teacher Education Program, also received a 10 percent slash in funds. This resulted in an over 20 percent reduction in its personnel, said Barbara Goldman, associate director for teacher education.
“In order to deliver the required curriculum, the size of some course sections were increased,” she said. “However, we avoided increasing class sizes for those courses that are most central to the students’ curriculums.”
The teacher education program also decreased copying costs by using more electronic platforms like Smartsite and reduced the $300 usually given to credential students who assist teachers in their classrooms.
Goldman said that the teacher education program was more susceptible to cuts because fewer of its faculty members are part of the academic senate and therefore, its funding includes more “flexible money.”
“The deans are under a lot of pressure and their degrees of freedom are not that great,” Goldman said. “Unfortunately the burden fell to us more this year but I think we have done a good job of making decisions that won’t disadvantage students.”
Despite the cut to its budget, enrollment for the teacher credential program increased by 9.8 percent this year and enrollment for the school of education has remained stable.
“I think it says a lot about our program and what we have to offer,” Goldman said.