CCSF: Fighting for San Francisco’s Most Valuable Resource

With City College of San Francisco at risk of losing its accreditation by July 2014, CAA believes San Francisco is facing a severe civil rights crisis.

After a review of all circumstances, we believe that the Accreditation Commision’s decision was too harsh and has caused terrible damage to the college and its 85,000 students.  Many of CCSF’s 85,000 students depend on the college as the only affordable and accessible educational institution, and also for job training or vocational courses, ESL, and citizenship classes.

In recent weeks, we’ve been meeting with key decision-makers about the future of City College of San Francisco: the Special Trustee Robert Agrella, the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, the Office of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and many others.  Two courses of action have emerged: (1) legal action, and (2) addressing accreditation requirements.  Both paths are aligned with our principles, but much more is needed to keep City College open for all.

Two weeks ago, the California Federation of Teachers filed a lawsuit to block the Accreditation Commission’s decision against City College.  Their grievances are similar to those in an earlier lawsuit filed by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera.  If successful, these lawsuits can prevent City College from closing, and, at a minimum, they raise important issues about a lack of transparency from the Accreditation Commission.

City College administrators and faculty are also working to improve the College’s governance structure and strengthen its finances.  The hiring of a permanent Chancellor and the filling of key vice chancellor vacancies will provide much needed leadership stability for the College.  Administrators are also pursuing the Commission’s formal review and appeal process in hopes that the Commission changes its earlier decision.

State elected officials must begin to address the devastating impact that decreased student registration will have on future City College revenue.  The turmoil has caused an estimated 12% drop in enrollment–equal to a loss of tens of millions of dollars next year.  Similarly, San Francisco elected officials must ensure programs that serve communities of color, immigrants, and already vulnerable low-income neighborhoods receive the support they need.

Our fight for City College continues.  More than 8,000 people like you have signed our petition letter.  Dozens of grassroots volunteers join our campaign each week.

You can continue to help by:

  • Sharing the message that City College is open, accredited, and enrolling students now.
  • Sharing our petition link on Facebook, Twitter, and through email.
  • Volunteering with us on outreach, especially in non-English languages.
  • Emailing us your story of why City College matters to you.
  • Letting us know how you’d like to be more involved.

City College is too important to close.  At a recent hearing called by Supervisor Eric Mar, a new economic impact report shows City College generates more than $300 million in economic benefits for San Francisco while creating educational opportunities for those who are often left behind.