We the people of California call on all students and community to take action against AB955 which seeks to privatize summer and fall intersessions on community colleges statewide and would create a Two-Tier System.
Das Williams, Assembly Member of Santa Barbara (District 37), introduced AB955 on the day of the deadline, decreasing the media’s ability to make the public aware of the bill. AB955 continues to move forward without dialogue from students who it directly impacts. AB 955 was passed by the Assembly of Higher Education Committee.
WHAT IS AB 955?
It is an extension program that will be implemented for summer and winter sessions at community colleges statewide in California, that will be open to the public to enroll into classes offered at full tuition. The full tuition is “$295 per unit ($46 State Enrollment Fee = $230 for Non-Resident Tuition + $19 Capital Outlay Fee)” not including cost of necessary material. If you qualify for financial aid, it would not be covered but it would slightly lower the cost to $200 per unit, not including the cost of necessary materials.
WILLIAMS ARGUMENTS FOR AB955
1. It will give veterans enrollment priority
REBUTTAL: This argument is misleading and unnecessary as Veterans already have priority enrollment under the Student Success Act(SB1456).
2. It would open up more classes for the fall semesters. Williams argued that students will drop classes from their Fall schedule to take classes in the summer.
REBUTTAL: Williams does not provide any evidence that this plan would motivate students to drop their Fall courses(in which they can get financial aid for those that qualify) to take courses during the summer and pay for course at a cost per unit.
3. It would allow students to take classes necessary to transfer out sooner.
REBUTTAL: Assembly Member Williams claims that this plan would allow students to transfer out sooner but this too is misleading and could even be detrimental to students ability to transfer out if they were to skip a Fall/Spring semester because the student decided to take the necessary class during the summer/winter. Universities don’t consider summer and winter intersessions and having a gap between semesters is not recommended for students looking to transfer out.
Community Colleges are a bridge to a 4-year college for marginalized students, students who struggled during K-12, immigrant students, and enrichment for community members who want to continue their education. We recognize AB955 as another austerity attack on education and therefore the public who needs it most and we reject these plans that would further expand the gap between the have and the have-nots. We reject any attempts to put education on the market. Stop the attacks on our education.