"Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten."
Virginia A. Riegel
As state funding for the California Community College system remains inadequate, community college districts may consider other potential sources of revenue, including student fees, to support district activities and programs. The ability of districts to institute student fees is highly regulated by the state, and districts must ensure that student fee options do not run afoul of fee requirements. Accordingly, we offer the following overview of student fee issues to help districts ensure that they fully consider their options when contemplating new or increased student fees.
Virginia A. Riegel
Shared governance is a staple of everyday operations within the community college system. A reminder about the legal contours of shared governance can help districts assess whether their local processes are meeting their needs and verify compliance with state law.
Attempts by a Community College District to limit protests at a college campus require a careful balancing of First Amendment rights against the inherent authority of Districts to protect the College’s mission and facilities and to enforce its rules. This update discusses a range of options available to a District to address the problems that arise with protests on campus.
Virginia A. Riegel
The recent legislative session resulted in changes to two important statutes that affect discrimination policies in California community college districts.
Government Code, section 12940. Government Code, section 12940 is a critical provision within the California Fair Employment and Housing Act: it prohibits discrimination in employment. Section 12940 was expanded when Governor Brown approved two separate bills (Senate Bill 559 and Assembly Bill 887). The amendments to section 12940 are underscored below:
Government Code, section 12940:
[It is unlawful]
(a) For an employer, because of the race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic condition, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, or sexual orientation of any person, to refuse to hire or employ the person or to refuse to select the person for a training program leading to employment, or to bar or to discharge the person from employment or from a training program leading to employment, or to discriminate against the person in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
Government Code, section 11135. Government Code, section 11135 addresses nondiscrimination in community college district programs and activities. Section 11135 was also amended by SB 559 as underscored below.
The Roster of Public Agencies is a public list of basic facts about a community college district.
1. The full, legal name of the public agency;
2. The official mailing address of the governing body;
3. The name and residence or business address of each member of the governing body; and
4. The name, title, and residence or business address of the chairman, president, or other presiding officer, and clerk or secretary of the governing body.
Potential tort claimants against a district can use the list to find names and addresses for
filing a governmental tort claim with a district. The timely filing of a governmental tort claim with a district is a condition to being able to pursue a tort lawsuit against that district.
The consequences of failing to maintain the currency of this factual information can be significant: tort claimants may be allowed to file lawsuits without first filing timely governmental claims with the district if the basic facts listed above are significantly inaccurate or incomplete. An increase in the number of potential lawsuits places the district and board members at unnecessary risk.
Virginia A. Riegel, Senior Associate General Counsel email@example.com
January 1, 2010 brought a number of changes to laws affecting California community college students.
Student Fees: Two Education Code sections that affect student fees were amended.
Virginia A. Riegel, Senior Associate General Counsel, firstname.lastname@example.org
On March 19, 2009, the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, published its decision in Crosby v. South Orange County Community College District (2009 WL 712433) holding that a community college district may restrict the use of District computers in its libraries without violating the free speech rights of its students.
search terms: Crosby v. South Orange County Community College District, computers, free speech rights.