Monday, October 14, 2013

Gov. Brown Signs CA Two-Tier Tuition

he signs controversial AB 955, see Inside Higher Ed: Two-Tiered Tuition is Back

The California Legislature passed the bill last month. It wasn’t clear Brown would back the law. But he did.

“This seems like a reasonable experiment,” Brown said in a written statement. “Why deny these campuses the opportunity to offer students access and financial assistance to courses not otherwise available?”

Critics of two-tiered tuition say it challenges the state’s fabled Master Plan for Higher Education, which guarantees an open-door approach at community colleges.

“This measure reverses the underlying philosophy of California community colleges, which is equitable opportunity for all,” said Jonathan Lightman, executive director of the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges.

Lightman said the faculty group was disappointed with Brown’s decision, which he said is a move toward privatization of public higher education. The bill is poorly constructed, he said, and does not include adequate state oversight for the program.

The faculty group, in a written statement, called two-tiered tuition a “toll road for the economically privileged.”

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