As California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott looks into the legality of Santa Monica College's proposal, students continue to stage spirited protests, the Corsair reports.
On Thursday morning, campus police broke up an assembly on the steps of the Letters and Science Building, because the students were reportedly blocking a stairwell, according the student-run paper.
Michael Pronilover, a speaker for the Student Organizing Committee, told the Corsair that campus police have been "harassing" the committee ever since it began holding public meetings two weeks ago.
The police “make it harder for us to organize,” Pronilover said. “And we are organizing for something just.”
The college district's plan, which still needs fleshing out, is to create a nonprofit education foundation that would restore about 100 courses eliminated in the wake of reduced state funding.
Students outraged by the proposal call it "privatization," because California residents would have to pay about $275 instead of the $36 they pay now thanks to state subsidies. They want the district's Board of Education to demand the restoration of state funds.
Additionally, the Student Organizing Committee has drafted an action plan that calls for the reduction of administrative and managerial salaries to 2007-2008 pre-bonus and pre-raise levels. They also want the district to look into a series of savings and revenue proposals developed by a District Planning and Advisory Committee.
Board members don't believe restored state funding is plausible. They say the alternative is that the college doesn't offer the classes at all.
“[We’re] looking to figure out how you can have classes here that will cost you less if you happen to be locked out of what the state will fund,” Trustee Louise Jaffe told the students earlier this month. “I don’t know what else we can do.”
Since 2008, Santa Monica College has cut its course offerings 15.4 percent, and officials warned Tuesday that the number could hit 23 percent if a November ballot initiative to raise taxes fails.