- California students and faculty are up in arms over Santa Barbara Assemblyman Das Williams' AB 955, a bill that would allow the state's community colleges to charge higher fees for courses in high demand during summer and winter sessions.
- Santa Monica College controversially proposed a similar plan last summer that would have seen core education classes like English, math and history priced at $180 per unit, well above the price of state-funded courses set at $46 per unit by the Legislature.
- Williams' legislation has the support of several college districts and some employee unions and non-profits, and he says he revived the idea because severe state funding cuts are still keeping schools from increasing course offerings and resulting in cuts to summer and winter sessions, but critics say the plan compromises open access and makes money off of those who can least afford it.
From the article:
... "Our intent is to help students be able to get classes," said Williams. "Everyone advocates for access, but I'm disappointed that no one supports any ideas. This is a modest attempt that is voluntary on the part of students and community colleges. Opponents of the bill should not be able to make decisions for every community college student in the state." ...