CFT-Sponsored Bills Pass Senate Education Committee
SACRAMENTO – On Wednesday, California’s community college system – numbering more than 2 million students – got one step closer to a more consistent, transparent process when it comes to accrediting the system’s 112 schools.
The state’s Senate Education Committee passed a pair of bills authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco). AB 1397, known as the California Community Colleges Fair Accreditation Act of 2015, will require more transparency and consistent standards in the application of statewide community college accreditation. AB 1385 will give community colleges the right to vote on assessments for legal fees accrued by the current accrediting body. The bills now move to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“These bills provide the necessary transparency and due process to ensure that colleges are evaluated fairly,” said CFT President Joshua Pechthalt. “The students of California need these bills because they help shift money away from needless bureaucratic paperwork and into creating more course offerings so young people have greater access to much needed higher education.”
Inspired by the often unnecessary, expensive, and sometimes illegal actions by the Accrediting Commission on Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), AB 1397 imposes new standards that include avoiding conflicts of interest, establishing a right to appeal sanctions, and ensuring public access.
With bipartisan support, the Assembly overwhelmingly passed AB 1397 (61-18) and AB 1385 (62-18) in June.
AB 1942 (Bonta) as amended on May 6, 2014 requires the Board of Governors to establish a task force to look at state aid for districts while seeking accreditation. and adds requirements that an accreditation agency of a California Community college must satisfy including the makeup of visiting teams and requires the accreditation agency to make reports to the legislature. AB 1942 moved to the Senate.
AB 2087 addresses the replacement of an elected Board of Trustees with a Special Trustee.
SB 965 (Leno) extends special funding for CCSF while under sanction. It did not get out of the Senate Appropriations Committee but still could become part of the State Budget when it is approved.
SB 1068 establishes a task force to consider how to change the accreditation agency for the California community colleges. SB 1068 did not get out of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Letter from Congresswomen Speier and other Congress members to Secretary of Education Duncan asking important questions regarding accreditation and the ACCJC