From Renters Write, July 2009

Santa Monica College: Celebrating 80 Years of Excellence

As SMRR celebrates 30 years in 2009, Santa Monica College also meets a major milestone in celebrating 80 years of excellence. This year SMC is once again #1 in transfers to the UCs; is ranked the “best overall” regional Small Business Development Center; provides more than 3,000 older adults with lifelong learning opportunities through free classes at Emeritus College; offers more than 80 career/tech programs; and provides thousands of students with the opportunity to improve their personal and professional lives by investing in their educations.

SMRR has played a major role in the last decade of success for Santa Monica College. SMRR has strongly supported every college bond measure. It is because of the passage of these locally approved SMRR-endorsed bonds that students and community members enjoy the use of safe, modern, and environmentally friendly facilities including new classrooms, labs, track and fields, quad, and the extraordinary Broad Stage.

Every current member of the SMC Board of Trustees was endorsed by SMRR. That’s probably because we share SMRR’s values and platform for SMC: lifelong learning, diversity and equity in educational programming, workforce training, and community-based partnerships.

As trustees, we see SMC and the many opportunities SMC provides as integral to our mission of changing lives in the global community through excellence in education.

As a community, together, we have demonstrated fair and responsible financial support for our schools. For our efforts and with SMRR leadership, we have great schools and great public services. Locally, we are doing our part. But public schools, including SMC, are primarily funded by the State of California and these are very scary times, with unprecedented cuts in funding ahead.

How will we be able to maintain SMC’s quality, open access, and value to the community in the face of devastating cuts in funding? What will the “new normal” look like? How can we best continue to serve our students and our community with resources slashed? How can we continue to provide good jobs with good benefits, wages, and working conditions for our employees?

We know the questions. We are working hard to find the best possible answers to ensure another 80 years of excellence for SMC. Through your support of SMRR and efforts to rally community and electoral support, we will be better positioned to do so.