INFOGRAPHIC: Brown signs legislation creating two tiers of college tuition, for the rich and the poor

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Students protest two-tiered education system at Santa Monica Community College last year
Photo screen capture of protest video by Corsair Online

For six California community colleges, when the classes get crowded, those with money will get in, and the poor will struggle. 

On Oct. 10, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 955, allowing six allegedly overcrowded community colleges to charge $200 per unit instead of the state-mandated $46 for their most in-demand classes. 

The bill was sponsored by Assemblymember Das Williams (D- Santa Barbara), and would effect College of the Canyons, Crafton Hills College, Long Beach City College, Oxnard College, Pasadena City College, and Solano Community College. But state officials and local activists fear this is the first step towards steeply increasing community college fees.

At a California Community College Board of Governors meeting last month, state Chancellor Brice Harris said the tuition hikes could lead to less funding from Sacramento.

“The next time the budget goes in the tank, they’ll tell (us), 'we can’t give it to you, tell your colleges to raise fees,'” he said. “We have had historically free and open equal access. This bill fundamentally changes that equation."

When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Harris said he was unavailable.

Shanell Williams, student trustee at City College of San Francisco and an activist who's fought student inequality at the state level before, echoed Harris' sentiments back when AB955 was first on the table. “AB955 creates a system of haves and have nots,” she said. “Students that cannot afford to pay more will essentially be denied access."

A two-tiered payment system was tried once before at Santa Monica College last year. Students protested and were pepper sprayed in an incident that blew up in the news media.

In light of the new tuition hike, we've created an infographic to help put the new costs in context. Check it out below, and link to it directly here.

For our previous coverage on AB955, click here.


Comments

If parents and kids aren't willing to regard education as the number one priority for their dollars, then they do not deserve to succeed.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

is paying the rent, the second may be having food to eat. Do they still not deserve to succeed? (Let me guess: it is their fault the parents and their children are in that position, right?)

BTW: at what age as a child or teenager did you regard education as your number one priority for your dollar?

Posted by Guest III on Oct. 17, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by x on Oct. 17, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by xyz on Oct. 17, 2013 @ 10:09 pm

The purpose of the community college is to allow the 'community' to attend. That means the standards for entry are intended to be 'democratic' --open to all. Let's face it the four year college is a meritocracy--those with the brains only need apply...

A three credit course at $46/credit comes close to $138. Clearly, there is a limit to what the student can affortd.

Given that for many people, the community college is a means to attain entry level employment or to upgrade what skills they have, or to prepare themselves for the four year college, or to begin the college experience on a budget--$200 a credit/hour puts that experience out of the financial range of many people --already stressed out financially with low paying jobs or even unemployed.

Nobody comes out a winner with $200/credit... This is a half-baked piece of legislation...

Posted by StevenTorrey on Oct. 18, 2013 @ 7:10 am

Even a low-rated community college.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 18, 2013 @ 7:33 am

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