Rising demand, fewer classes cause El Camino summer session crowding
Summer school is normally a low-key affair, but the first day of classes this week at El Camino College near Torrance was like a footrace, with many students losing out.
On Monday and Tuesday, they crammed into classrooms, standing for lack of seats in the hopes of taking the spot of a no-show.
In Peter Marcoux’s English class, there were 20 overflow students. He admitted two, and that’s only because Marcoux generously agreed to take two more students beyond the 35-student maximum.
“The first two days were kind of crazy around here,” he said Thursday, while distributing a test to the students who were lucky enough to get into the class. “This summer is pretty bad.”
With the state budget in shambles, summer school is fast becoming a luxury at California’s community colleges.
Grappling with a $400 million budget cut – 7 percent of the entire system’s coffers – as well as the grim possibility of having to double that amount, more and more community colleges are doing away with summer school altogether.
This year, three of the nine campuses in the Los Angeles Community College District – Harbor, Mission and West Los Angeles – have taken this extraordinary measure.
Meanwhile, a strong majority of California’s 112 community colleges – including El Camino, which is not part of the Los Angeles district – has cut deeply into its summer-school classes. At El Camino, the number of course offerings for the summer has