Friday, November 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

College savings, accreditation focus of state legislation

By
From page A3 | February 23, 2014 |

By Nanette Asimov
A pair of higher education bills — one to stimulate college savings and the other to radically change the way community colleges are accredited in California — were introduced this week by Bay Area lawmakers.

State law currently requires California’s 112 community colleges to be accredited by the private Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, one of six such agencies nationwide that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

But the commission has run afoul of faculty and other advocates for its crackdown on City College of San Francisco, the state’s largest school. Three groups have sued the commission, and a judge has barred it from revoking City College’s accreditation until a trial determines whether the school was evaluated legally. The process has also highlighted the fact that the fate of public colleges rests with a private agency doing business behind closed doors.

Now, Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, has introduced AB 1942 to let college districts choose their own accrediting agency. Accrediting decisions – including appeals, which now go before the same commission that issued the negative verdict – would all be conducted in public.

Faculty and other critics are hailing the bill. Yet questions remain about how it would work.

Who would accredit the colleges? Would other agencies across the country be willing or able to take on the additional work of overseeing so many community colleges in a distant state? Those agencies are private, too. Why would they agree to become public agencies and take on extra work with no additional funding?

Aides to Bonta had no answers but said the state’s Board of Governors for community colleges could serve as an accreditor, or authorize new agencies to do the work.

“Looking for the most lenient accrediting commission would not be beneficial for any community college,” said Scott Lay, who heads the Community College League of California, which represents the interests of the state’s 72 college districts. “I would hate to see a shopping effort for the lowest common denominator.”

The issue is complicated, acknowledged Professor John Levin of UC Riverside, an education researcher who heads the California Community College Collaborative.

But he said the current system is so riddled with problems — including a lack of transparency, as well as high-stakes decisions that often confuse the colleges that are left to pick up the pieces — that reform is needed.

“So I applaud the principle” of the new bill, he said.

A second bill, AB 1956 by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, would give families an additional financial incentive to sock away money for their children’s college education through ScholarShare, California’s version of the federal 529 college savings plan.

The plan already lets families set aside tax-free money for college.

The new bill would create a state tax credit equal to 20 percent of the money families contribute each year to the college savings plan. The tax credit would be capped at $500 a year.

The bill is estimated to cost the state up to $25 million a year. But Bonilla and Bill Lockyer, the state treasurer, say the state would ultimately benefit.

“It’s not an outright loss, but an investment,” Bonilla said, noting that Lockyer’s office projects that the bill would decrease student debt by $600 million over 20 years.

“The burden of debt is an enormous strain on society,” Bonilla said. “This type of investment begins to pay off for families.”

— Reach Nanette Asimov at nasimov@sfchronicle.com

Comments

comments

San Francisco Chronicle

.

News

 
UC regents approve 5% tuition increases

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
 
A new home for the holidays?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

California unemployment steady at 7.3 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Yolobus will reroute Saturday morning for Turkey Trot

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Help feed the hungry at Saturday’s food drive

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Explorit: Lecture illuminates state water bond

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

 
Apply now to take Master Gardener training

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Volunteers sought to advocate for kids

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Village Homes gets crafty

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Nowhere to go, nothing to do

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

Council misses an opportunity

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Together we can do so much

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Have you read this book?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
We DO have a water shortage

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Davis voices concerns over new oil-by-rail proposal

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Cheers and Jeers: Katehi front and center

By Our View | From Page: A10

.

Sports

LBSU takes down UCD in matchup of Big West’s best

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD men get to 2-0

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Silveria has been there through thick and thin

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Whose seniors will go out in style at Causeway Classic No. 61?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Wire sports briefs: Kings cruise past Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Raiders beat K.C. to snap a 16-game skid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Aggie women start 4-game homestand Saturday at 11 a.m.

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

 
.

Features

.

Arts

The Purple Ones to play tribute to Prince

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1′ fails to catch fire

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Wealth of Nations show is Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Davis Feminist Film Festival accepting submissions

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Come ‘Home for the Holidays’ and benefit school arts

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
 
Founding pastor of UCC’s now-famous painting on display

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Business

Automakers debut key models at L.A. Auto Show

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, November 21, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A9

 
.

Real Estate Review

Featured Listing

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER1

Professional Services Directory

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER2

Lyon Real Estate

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER3

RE/Max Gold

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER4

Kim Eichorn

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER5

Joe Kaplan

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

Melrina A Maggiora

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

Lennar Homes

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER7

Marcelo Campos

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER7

Yolo FCU

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

Team Traverso

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

Tracy Harris

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

Travis Credit Union

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER9

Coldwell Banker

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER10

Diane Lardelli

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

Jamie Madison

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

Ciana Wallace

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

Malek Baroody

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

Julie Partain

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER14

Coldwell Banker

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER15

Cynthia Gerber

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

Karen Waggoner

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

Jamie Madison & Associates

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

Dana Hawkins & Caitlin McCalla

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER18

Chris Snow

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER18

Open House Map

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER19

F1rst Street Real Estate

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER20