For immediate release: Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Bill passes committee, to benefit colleges across the state
SACRAMENTO – On Tuesday community college students and educators from across the state gathered in Sacramento to urge passage of Assembly Bill 1397, which will reform statewide community college accreditation, impacting 112 schools and more than 2 million students.
The State Assembly Committee on Higher Education passed AB 1397, and the bill now moves to the appropriations committee.
“We have, as students, been living in fear,” said Shanell Williams, Student Trustee on City College of San Francisco’s Board of Trustees, speaking before the committee. “Students deserve better. Accreditation should be about protecting our needs while going to college to get ahead. When accreditation decisions are made in secret, our voices are silenced and our futures are put at risk.”
“Community colleges throughout California have been unfairly caught up in an arbitrary system, which is cause for alarm for the faculty and students across our state,” said Joanne Waddell, President of AFT Local 1521, which represents teachers in the Los Angeles Community College District.
Authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and inspired by the often unnecessary, expensive, and sometimes illegal actions by the Accreditation Commission on Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), AB 1397 imposes new standards for accountability and transparency in accreditation. This includes avoiding conflicts of interest, establishing a right to appeal sanctions, and ensuring public access.
The Higher Ed Committee also passed AB 1385 (Ting), which gives community colleges the right to vote on assessments for ACCJC legal fees.
The CFT represents over 25,000 faculty in thirty community college districts, and 120,000 educational employees at every level of the education system, from Head Start to UC. More info: www.cft.org