Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Brown signs bill for pricier intersession classes

The controversial bill earned Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature last week, approving a handful of community colleges the right to offer additional courses at inflated prices during the short intersessions between traditional semesters, despite opposition from student leaders and the chancellor of the state’s 2-year college system.

Sponsored by Assemblyman Das Williams, (D-Santa Barbara), the bill authorizes six specific colleges to charge sums of $200 per unit, a drastic elevation when compared to the state-subsidized $46 per unit price currently in place for classes during the fall and spring semesters.

In comparison, the average three-unit class that costs $138 during the regular academic year would cost students $600.

Williams explained that the purpose of the bill was to relieve the impaction in community college classrooms that arose amid the course reductions that followed cutbacks in the college system’s funding over the last several years.

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The cutbacks have made it difficult over the years for students to obtain the classes they need to graduate and transfer.

The bill originally included all 112 of the state’s community college campuses, but due to strong disfavor was amended to only cover the six colleges that had shown interest in the possibility: College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, Long Beach City College, Oxnard College, Pasadena City College and Solano Community College in Fairfield.

In response to the outcries over the price of the additional classes, the bill does require that the college that participate in the program must use one-third of the money they collect on financial aid for economically disadvantaged students.

Various community college districts and student and faculty groups lobbied the governor to veto the bill, believing that it would establish a precedent in the 2-year system of only the economically privileged having the opportunity to attain a public education.

It is unclear whether or not the bill will have a detrimental affect on the community college systems.

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