The head of California's community college system has reportedly asked Santa Monica College to put on pause its contentious tuition plan that continues to spark protests two days after as many as 30 demonstrators were pepper-sprayed by campus police.
Campus officials and the chancellor's office did not immediatly return messages from Patch seeking comment. The New York Times and Los Angeles Times report that Chancellor Jack Scott believes the legality of the plan is still in question.
Just a few hours after the pepper spray incident, the college's Board of Trustees said it would not relent to offer 50 classes this summer that won't be subsidized by the state. The classes, which would otherwise be eliminated under severe state budget cuts, will be offered at the college's actual cost of $180 per credit unit, or $540 for a typical 3-unit course.
Students will continue today at Superintendent Chui Tsang's office. Tsang issued a statement Wednesday that seemed to defend the tuition plan and the use of pepper spray.
The college's "move comes in the midst of a state budget crisis that has had devastating effects on college students in California for the last four years... a tragic number of students are currently being turned away from community colleges," he said.