How does a community college close a $7.7 million budget gap? If you're the highly regarded Pasadena City College, you shut down your winter session. According to the Pasadena Star-News, PCC is being forced to eliminate its six-week "intersession" that exists between mid-January and February. This is a mini-semester that serves 13,000 students who are mainly from other schools needing to complete a class or two but who cannot afford to enroll for an entire academic session for the sake of a few needed credits.
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This still leaves PCC with a $3.7 million hole in its $150 million budget, which the school will attempt to plug with hiring freezes, travel cutbacks and early retirements. Although many K-12 schools in California have eliminated summer school sessions or activities, the PCC decision marks an escalation in the reduction of educational opportunities. Yet it might ultimately prove popular with other schools in the state's north and interior, since part of the rationale for winter cutbacks is to save money on heating, lighting and other costs associated with colder weather. This was, after all, one of the reasons why Chrysler chose to shut down its assembly plants last winter.