SANTA MONICA ( — The campus of Santa Monica College will be a little bit colder and darker this year.

KNX 1070’s Brian Ping reports budget woes have forced the community college to scrap its winter session.

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SMC suffered nearly $8 million in state funding cuts since last year, and it faces another hit along with other public schools if voters reject the governor’s November tax measure.

“Things have just gotten so difficult that we felt, after much deliberation, that it was better to eliminate the winter session and try to keep our fall and spring sessions intact as much as possible,” said campus spokesman Bruce Smith.

The elimination, which will affect 11,000 of 34,000 students, will save the school about $2.5 million and save the longer fall and spring sessions from major cuts.

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The winter session is a condensed six-week program popular with students who want an accelerated path to a degree. They weren’t happy about the decision.

“If I don’t take winter this session, I’m going to have stay here another whole semester,” said student Taynara Moura.

Pasadena City College recently eliminated its winter schedule because it would not receive any state funding and would be forced to tap into its reserves.

Smith said if California lawmakers fail to pass Proposition 30, SMC may be forced to cut another 600 sections next spring – but he’s not looking that far ahead.

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“Right now, we’re operating under the optimistic projection that Prop. 30 will pass, so we’ll have a very robust healthy offering in spring 2013,” he added.