Corporate Sponsors in the Classroom?

Teacher layoffs are prevalent in cities around the country, but California is facing a real crisis with the education budget. Students who are looking to earn their associates degree or bachelor's degree may soon find that cutbacks in the state might mean that certain classes are in danger of becoming extinct.

The nation's economic crisis is forcing schools to take unprecedented steps to survive: laying off teachers, cutting bus services, eliminating summer classes. But more drastic measures may not be far off. Could the next step in saving American education be Introduction to Nutrition, Sponsored by McDonald's or Pricewaterhouse Coopers' Financial Accounting 101?

Don't laugh. The City College of San Francisco is considering selling the naming rights to nearly 800 endangered classes. The 105,000-student institution gets most of its funding from the state government, which is grappling with an estimated $27 billion budget deficit. The school has already imposed a freeze on new hires and cost-of-living adjustments to employees' salaries. Faced with an estimated $25 million budget deficit, the school's chancellor, Don Griffin, has proposed eliminating 800 of the school's roughly 9,800 classes for this fall. Last month, however, he proposed a novel potential solution: saving the classes with corporate sponsorships of up to $6,000 per semester.

Students who want to earn their associates degree for example might not be able to complete their studies if classes are not available. If corporate sponsors can help keep classes available, it should be considered. Yes, some coursework may mention the sponsor, but the curriculum will be standard for accredited schools.

This has been brought to you in part by (insert corporate sponsor here).

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