CCSF students, teachers rally to save school

March 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A rally was held Thursday in San Francisco to save City College. Students and teachers staged a walkout from several campuses around the city as the state's largest college faces a Friday deadline and could lose its accreditation.

The rally went on all afternoon at Civic Center Plaza just outside the Mayor Ed Lee's office. The demonstration was a message to the mayor and city officials about how funds for the college are being spent or, as they say, misspent. It's a battle for hearts, soul, and possibly for the future control of San Francisco City College.

There are 85,000 members of the student body at CCSF and a few that walked out of class and on to city hall Thursday told ABC7 News they did it as a way of speaking for the many. "No one has ever been disappointed in the quality of the education that they get here. It's been mostly a financial management thing," student Jeffrey Tyler said.

Since last July, the campus administration has struggled to defend its accreditation to a state board that found flaws with long-standing practices and policies, and asked for changes. "More financial accountability, more streamlined administrative structures, a closer look at how we're managing facilities, closer look at how we're tracking student success," CCSF spokesman Larry Kamer said.

But students and staff don't see eye-to-eye with the state or with how the administration has spent $16 million of San Francisco Proposition A money. Why are classes smaller and services reduced they ask and why did that money go into reserve?

'We feel that they've have used this accreditation process to push through an agenda which will downsize the school, dismantle public education, and shut out the communities that need us most," said Wendy Kaufmyn a tenured instructor.

"Everything we're doing, every part of this community is doing, is to keep City College open and here for our students and the community of San Francisco for City College, but that's a decision now that rests with the accreditation commission."

CCSF administration officials say they are guardedly optimistic that they have met the accreditation requirements, some of them, anyway. They say it is going to take a while with other issues such as negotiating labor contracts.


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