We are coalition of students, classified staff, faculty and members of the San Francisco community. We stand for education, justice and equity.
Our mission is to reclaim City College of San Francisco as a large urban college that offers affordable and quality education and addresses the needs of the diverse community in San Francisco. We are committed to fighting back against unilaterally imposed cuts to educational programs, undemocratic restructuring of college governance, and land grabs for luxury housing development. Most important, we are committed to fighting back against those who want to downsize public education and ration it to a narrow band of students – leaving behind the students who need us most.
In essence, we are fighting to keep City College OUR Community College with San Francisco Values.
Our Points of Unity:
- Save CCSF as an affordable, accessible, diverse and democratic community college.
- Reverse cuts to student enrollment, classes, programs, and compensation – no new 26% cut in classes leaving San Francisco with a half-size college. Use parcel tax funds as promised and legally required. Rebuild enrollment to 100,000.
- Fully fund CCSF and all public education by increasing taxes on the rich and corporations, and by curbing military and prison spending. Stop privatization and corporatization of public education.
- Stop the misuse of the accreditation process to impose austerity, state control and asset stripping. Make the accreditation process transparent and democratic. Accreditation should focus on educational development, not threats, punishment and downsizing.
- Keep CCSF diverse. Support student equity. Defend and build the Diversity Departments. Stop evicting students through push-out policies that target the same populations that are being affected by predatory student loans, foreclosures, evictions, and police violence.
- Give all workers fair wages and good working conditions. Pay student workers SF minimum wage. Rescind staff and faculty layoffs. Stop union busting.
CCSF is one the largest community colleges in the country, and according to the New York Times, one of the best. It has a proud record of successfully helping students complete their GEDs, prepare for transfer to 4-year colleges, and graduate in many fields, including hotel and restaurant, nursing, radiology, engineering and firefighting. Furthermore, many thousands of immigrants learn English and citizenship, older adults benefit from cultural enrichment and life-long learning courses, unemployed workers learn new skills, the formerly incarcerated are provided with services to help build a new life – the list is enormous.
In July 2012, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) put CCSF on a sanction of “show cause” – one level from losing accreditation entirely – a death knell for a college. In July 2013, the ACCJC said that CCSF will lose its accreditation in July 2014, unless through an appeal process, this decision is reversed. In June 2013, the ACCJC had severed itself from the WASC (Western Association of School and Colleges) parent group thereby eliminating any objective agency above the ACCJC hearing an appeal. As of June our only appeal process is through the ACCJC.
The sanction is not about a dysfunctional college. CCSF has problems that need fixing, as all large institutions do, however these problems do not match the severity of the sanction. The sanction is about forces of privatization that are working to downsize public education and push students into for-profit schools which will saddle them with debt. The ACCJC is a private corporation that gets public money as well as private funds from pro-privatization sources such as the Lumina Foundation. Many in the higher education community believe that the ACCJC has become a “rogue” institution that is riddled with conflicts of interest and violations of law. (See the report, ACCJC Gone Wild by Marty Hittleman.) The ACCJC’s determination of “show cause” sanction to CCSF must be challenged. (See CFT/AFT Third Party Comment/Complaint.) In fact there are now three separate law suits against the ACCJC and their unfair decision.
During this accreditation process, the threat of closure has been used to force drastic changes at CCSF that do not benefit the college or the community. In the name of this manufactured “crisis”, student programs and services have been cut, classified staff and teachers laid off, computer labs closed, and faculty and staff wages cut. The College’s governing board has been stripped of its elected authority and instead a $1000+/day Special Trustee With Extraordinary Power (STWEP) has complete power. This STWEP has stated that Proposition A funds, which were earmarked to “offset budget cuts, prevent layoffs, provide affordable quality education…” will not be used for educational purposes. He even went further and said that he did not feel “confined to the ballot measure language.” This is in direct opposition to the wishes of 73% of S.F. voters who passed the measure. It is a profound betrayal of the public trust.
The Save CCSF Coalition finds all of this intolerable! Inspired by the Chicago teachers’ strike, the Quebec students who won the repeal of tuition hikes, and Seattle parents and teachers saying NO to mind robbing standardized tests, we are growing a movement to defend high quality, community wide, public education that is accessible to all. San Franciscans want and need CCSF to continue as a beacon of higher education for poor people, immigrants, women, people of color, queers, seniors, the unemployed, and working people.
To understand the treasure and unique jewel that is CCSF, read this moving account of CCSF open-door policy.
PLEASE JOIN US!
Get involved by joining a committee. We need you!
Take Action by endorsing us, signing petitions and more!
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