By Tim Redmond
Everybody knows that state officials have taken complete control of City College – and show no signs of returning the school to the elected Board of Trustees. But the law allowing the state college chancellor to seize a local school is pretty vague: According to Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, Education Code 70901 (b)(2) empowers the Board of Governors to “provide assistance when districts encounter severe management difficulties.”
This provision has been used to take power away from elected community college district boards. Most recently, it has been used against the board of San Francisco City College, following a highly controversial move to revoke the college’s accreditation. That accreditation process is being challenged in court by the San Francisco City Attorney.
Now Ammiano is challenging it in Sacramento, with a bill that would clarify (and tighten up) the rules that allow unelected state officials to oust and elected local board.
“Those actions tell the voters that their voices don’t matter,” Ammiano announced in a press release. “Rightfully, we are critical when elected officials in other countries have their powers taken away without a defined process. We should not accept it here. It doesn’t matter what I think of the college trustees and how they do their jobs. Love them or hate them, they were elected and we should respect that process.” (more after the jump)