So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Santa Monica College Board members say they're between a rock and a hard place with tuition plan

Vanessa Romo/KPCC

Outside an emergency meeting called by the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees to discuss the two-tier pricing plan. These demonstrators say they support the decision to raise tuition on some courses, saying it's the only way to keep the doors open.

Some Santa Monica College Board members said after today's emergency meeting that they were between a rock and a hard place fiscally speaking, but while it took three hours to accomplish, the Board voted unanimously Friday to postpone its two-tiered course pricing plan until further review. The Santa Monica College trustees wanted to ensure that, unlike Tuesday’s raucous meeting, everyone had a turn at the microphone.

It seemed that many trustees were reluctant to do it, but all six in the room voted to pause the program that would offer 50 of the college’s most popular and crowded classes this summer at nearly five times the usual cost.

Although he voted against launching the program this summer, trustee Rob Rader does support the principle behind it.

"I think the program has so much going for it," Rader said. "It’s intended to be a Robin Hood program, not a a program that’s more classist and reinforces classist discrimination. It’s meant to be one that supports equity."

The trustees will explore other alternatives to the problem of crowded courses, but many also urged students at the meeting to register, vote and support Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiatives in November.

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