As a former Grossmont and Cuyamaca Community College student, Bartek has firsthand experience regarding the challenges facing the college and its students. He’s committed to building on the important progress that Grossmont and Cuyamaca have made while also making necessary reforms that will bring financial accountability and transparency.
The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District operates on a budget of over half a billion dollars. The governing board has a responsibility to ensure these taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly and effectively so that every East County family has access to a quality community college education without the burden of inaccessible tuition or higher taxes.
Across the region and state, community college districts have struggled to balance budgets as we grapple with rising pension costs and aggressive collective bargaining demands. Solving these problems requires long-term thinking from the board and responsible budgeting.
It is critical, now more than ever, that we have a board that understands the budgeting process and acts in a way that protects the long term financial health of the district. We must continue to seek creative solutions that allow every East County student to enjoy a world class education while not overburdening taxpayers or putting future generations at risk.
The most important academic goal for our district should be graduating our students equipped with the skills necessary to get good paying jobs in the community. Students that participate in vocational training programs through our district are able to find high paying jobs in industries ranging from nursing to computer science, to culinary arts. As a governing board member for our district, I will work to support and strengthen our career tech programs.
Across East County, businesses and employers have high paying job openings that they are unable to fill as a result of the skilled labor shortage. As a board member, I am committed to forging partnerships between Grossmont-Cuyamaca and employers in our region to streamline the college to career pipeline. When we provide instruction and training that reflects the needs of employers looking to hire recent graduates from here in East County, everyone wins.
PUTTING STUDENTS OVER SPECIAL INTERESTS
For too long, our district has appeased labor unions and other special interest groups at the expense of students. In particular, our board has fallen short when it comes to standing up to organized labor.
When collective bargaining negotiations begin, it is important that an independent board, free from union influence, comes to the table solely with the interests of students in mind. Only then will a fair deal be struck that balances the needs of students with the demands of faculty and employees.
In addition to responsible collective bargaining, it is important that the board rejects project labor agreements that increase the cost of building new classrooms and lecture halls by discriminating against non-union construction firms. Our district’s students require facilities that are safe and conducive to learning. With limited resources, we should be selecting district contracts based on what is best for students and taxpayers, not politically connected special interest groups.