Bill that would increase transparency for community college accreditation heads to governor’s desk 

A bill that seeks to make the accreditation system for California's 112 community colleges more transparent landed on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown this week after receiving unanimous support from the state Senate and Assembly.

Brown has until Sept. 30 to veto or sign into law Assembly Bill 1942, which would require an accrediting agency to report accreditation decisions to the Legislature, such as last summer's vote by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to revoke City College of San Francisco's accreditation.

CCSF's July 31 deadline for accreditation revocation was rescinded after the school applied for restoration status. The college remains open and fully accredited.

AB 1942 was authored by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, and co-authored by San Francisco's Democratic assemblymen -- Tom Ammiano and Phil Ting.

Per the bill, policy changes for the agency that would affect the accreditation process or status of a community college would need to be reported biannually as well.

Additionally, the Board of Governors would be required to review the accreditation status of community colleges within a particular district to determine if the district is meeting the minimum conditions required by the board for accreditation.

"AB 1942 is needed to increase oversight on the accreditation process for our community colleges so that we can guarantee access to affordable education for the 2.4 million students served annually," Bonta said in a statement.

The bill passed the Senate floor on Aug. 13 with a vote of 36-0, and the Assembly on Aug. 18 with a 78-0 vote. Brown received the bill Wednesday.

According to the California Federation of Teachers, the bill will mandate more transparency and accountability from the ACCJC after years of "my way or the highway" behavior, union spokesman Fred Glass said.

"We believe this is a very modest step forward in the effort to reform the ACCJC, but much, much more needs to be done to hold this agency accountable, and we are working to make that happen," CFT President Joshua Pechthalt said.

Meanwhile, the ACCJC will decide whether to grant restoration status to CCSF no later than January. The policy would give CCSF two more years to reach full compliance with accrediting standards, and CCSF would remain accredited under the status.

Separately, a lawsuit between The City and commission is expected to go to trial in October. A judge had previously issued an injunction blocking ACCJC from revoking CCSF's accreditation until the trial's conclusion.

Losing accreditation would effectively force CCSF to close.

About The Author

Laura Dudnick

Laura Dudnick, a Bay Area native, covers education and planning for The San Francisco Examiner. She previously worked as a senior local editor for, and as the San Mateo County bureau reporter and weekend editor for Bay City News Service.
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