Photo by Michele Markel Connors via Flickr Creative Commons
California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott said today he will be asking the state Attorney General's Office for an opinion on the legality of a Santa Monica College program that will allow students to enroll in a selection of higher-cost classes starting this summer.
"The Chancellor's Office has previously indicated to colleges that we believe that step would be illegal," said Scott, speaking to a group of students at Pasadena City College today. "There was an attempt to change the law which failed last year, and now Santa Monica College has chosen to go alone and do it anyway. Frankly, we will seek an opinion from the Attorney General's Office as to whether or not that is legal or not. If it's legal then they can do it. If it's not legal then they cannot."
The plan was approved by Santa Monica College's governing board earlier this month to try and offset the effects of severe cuts to state funding and heavy demand. The college has had to cut 1,100 class sections, or roughly 15 percent of its more than 7,400 since 2008. This year their funding was reduced by $11 million and it is looking at another $5 million cut under Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget plan if a tax initiative is not approved by voters in November.