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Chancellor: Two-Tiered System Could Privatize Community Colleges

Aired 4/4/12 on KPBS News.

California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott is questioning whether one of the state’s community colleges can offer extra sections of popular courses at a higher cost.

California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott is questioning whether one of the state's community colleges can offer extra sections of popular courses at a higher cost.

Budget cuts have forced enrollment caps at campuses throughout the state. Now, to serve students it's turning away, Santa Monica College plans to open up additional courses that would cost $540 for a typical three-unit class. That's four times the regular cost.

Chancellor Scott said he's asking the state Attorney General whether that plan is legal. He's also worried the idea could spread. He said a two-tiered system would effectively privatize community colleges.

"Santa Monica, in creating these extra courses, are really opening the door to those who can afford it - but closing the door on those who can't," said Scott.

Scott also said his office could ask for an injunction or file a lawsuit if the Attorney General finds the program to be illegal.

Tuesday night, at least a dozen students protesting at a Santa Monica College board meeting were pepper-sprayed. The college said it's investigating the matter.

Comments

Avatar for user 'MattthewCScallon'

MattthewCScallon | April 5, 2012 at 1:19 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

I don't know how the education code is written in California, but, back in Illinois, the community college attended routinely charged more for more expensive courses. For example, both my computer programming and music classes charged a, "lab" fee. Now, practice space for a bass stretches the definition of a, "lab," but everyone knew that this was the way to pay for extra equipment or, in the case of my bass class, a specilized instructor.

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