Press Release: Supervisor Gordon Mar announces long-term funding initiative for community-serving City College classes
Expansion of the Public Education Enrichment Fund would fund programs and classes at City College
On Tuesday, Supervisor Gordon Mar directed the city attorney to draft an expansion of the Public Education Enrichment Fund to cover essential community-serving City College programs and classes. A charter amendment, this expansion would set aside permanent city funding to restore and expand programs and classes at City College, including those serving older adults and workforce programs.
City College has recently cut hundreds of classes, partly due to a reduction in funding from the state and changes in the state chancellor’s office’s Student Success Funding Formula.
The “Student Success” formula reduces funding for many of the important programs that do not directly lead to transfer to a four-year school or completion of an associates of arts degree.
“We need a more comprehensive and long-term solution to the underlying budgetary problems facing City College. As the State cuts funding for community-serving education, we have a responsibility as a City to step up and ensure our immigrants, seniors, older adults and workforce have the classes they need,” said Mar. “Investing in education pays dividends, and we can and should invest in community college and create win-win situations for our students, City and college.”
In February, Mar convened a City College in the Sunset District town hall attended by more than 150 participants and generated over 400 surveys. The surveys demonstrated that residents had a desire and demand for city college services, including English as a second language (ESL), older adult, child development and high school dual enrollment classes. Mar met the demand for city college services by investing a portion of his district’s “add back” budget to support City College classes in the Sunset District. As a result, in Spring 2020 there will be six new city college classes based in the Sunset providing services much-needed by residents. These classes include child development, ESL, older adult and dual enrollment classes for high school students.
Mar’s office is also facilitating the development of a new ESL certificate program at city college that can be a workforce pipeline for much-needed translators at the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs to implement the Language Access Ordinance. In turn, the city will be supporting the development of this program.
“City College Sunset and the ESL certificate program are models on how a city investment in higher education can expand workforce and social services in our neighborhoods,” said Mar. “My proposed expansion of the Public Education Enrichment Fund to City College will invest in higher education to serve our immigrant, older adult, and senior services, and city college vocational and degree-track programs and bring the community back to community college.”
Examples of programs that could be supported by this funding include retention counseling, wrap-around services and programs aimed at student retention, and courses for child development, GED, older adults, ESL, business, art, music, physical activity, language, and Career and Technical Education.