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Chancellor: Two-Tiered System Could Privatize Community Colleges

Chancellor: Two-Tiered System Could Privatize Community Colleges
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.