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Budget crisis leaving colleges cash-strapped

September 30, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The state budget crisis has stopped cash flow for student grants and interrupted crucial funding for community colleges, leaving many schools strapped for cash.

Princess Dye, a student at San Bernardino Valley College relies on Cal Grant funds to pay for books and fees. "The grants are important because I work part-time and because of bills, I'm not able to pay for school."

With the state budget holding up grant money, Dye has had to resort to taking out pay day loans and making photocopies of required class materials.

But not only students are suffering - the college itself is having a hard time paying its bills without its share of funding from the state budget.

"It's really tough because without cash flow from the state we're forced to go out and borrow money," said Bruce Baron, Chancellor of San Bernardino Community College District.

Baron said that borrowing comes at a cost of $15,000 per month in interest, meaning five more classes the school won't be able to afford to offer because state leaders can't agree on a budget.

If a state budget is not in place by December, colleges like San Bernardino Valley might have to shut down completely.

"I cannot imagine that the state would allow that to happen to our students and all the students across the state," said Baron


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