Sent: Fri, Jan 3, 2020 10:01 pm
Subject: Fw: agenda for the Jan. 10 meeting of the Joint City, School District, and City College Select Committee
—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Harry Bernstein*********
To: Supervisor Matt Haney ********
Sent: Friday, January 3, 2020, 04:31:17 PM PST
Subject: agenda for the Jan. 10 meeting of the Joint City, School District, and City College Select Committee
Dear Supervisor Haney and Staff
I recently discovered the agenda for the Board of Supervisors next meeting of the Joint City, School District, and City College Select Committee on Friday morning, January 10 in the Legislative Chamber at City Hall, Room 250. There is a single item on the agenda:
[Hearing – Impacts of Class Cuts at City College of San Francisco to Low-Income and Communities of Color, and High School Students]
Sponsors: Walton; Mar
Hearing on how the cuts of over 300 classes impact low-income and communities of color, high school students who take City College of San Francisco (CCSF) classes to meet college entry requirements, and any proposed cuts need to be heard by the students and communities most impacted; and requesting the CCSF Chancellor, CCSF Administration, and CCSF Board of Trustees to report.
I am urging you to modify or clarify the agenda to a small degree. At the time these peremptory cuts of more than 300 City College classes were announced on November 20, it quickly became clear that more than 15% of them affected the non-credit Older Adults Department. That is to say, 52 of the 58 classes from that Department were eliminated, all at once. These were classes that had been included in the printed class schedule for Spring semester, 2020–a process that requires months of careful preparation, and coordination between Deans and Department Chairs.
I am asking that you update the agenda to specify that the upcoming Hearing will also expressly incorporate within its scope the cuts in the Older Adults program, cuts so severe that the Department has been virtually demolished. I ask this not only because those classes represent a sizeable portion of the overall cuts. It should be acknowledged that many seniors living in the City, though not all, represent an important part of the Low-Income community. Naturally this is already a generally acknowledged fact. As you know, there are subsidized lunches for seniors during the week at locations throughout the City as well as free MUNI service (and deeply discounted BART tickets) for seniors. There is even a City Department that deals directly with services for the City’s aging population–the Department of Disability and Aging Services (from the City and County of San Francisco Human Services Agency).
I feel certain that the upcoming Hearing will review the legitimacy of these cuts, put into effect without prior consultation, as contractually required. The emergency character of the cancellations was undercut by the chancellor’s later admission, in a letter to the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors dated December 2, that “this situation is not an emergency.” Finally, I cannot forget that the Select Committee’s very first hearing occurred earlier this year, on Friday, May 10. It was about “City College of San Francisco’s proposed course changes and reductions.” Following remarks by the CCSF chancellor, there were hours of public testimony, ending with a memorable summary by Committee Chair Haney. (Here is a brief extract I transcribed from his statement, heard in a videorecording made at the event):
> …for something that is so clearly an extraordinary success and an essential institution, it just demonstrates how backwards we are in terms of our values and priorities as a society, that these are then the same folks, the faculty, the staff, the students who have to show up it seems like every month, every other election just to fight to maintain what they have. It should be the opposite of that. … As someone said, they shouldn’t have to be asking for this; we should be thanking them for what they’re doing to fight for this, for such a powerful institution…
Thank you for considering my request to clarify the agenda for this meeting.
City College of San Francisco