Legislator offers Community Colleges some procedural relief

Kellen Brauer

 

Assembly member Marty Block (left) and a panel of interviewers
Assembly member Marty Block (left) sits along side a panel of interviewers.

Kellen Brauer
Kellen Brauer

GROSSMONT COLLEGE – Assemblyman Marty Block (D-San Diego) has told a campus audience that California’s Community Colleges should have a single assessment test upon which state colleges and universities all could rely.

Meeting with Journalism students on Wednesday, Sept. 27, Block said his legislation has made it through both houses of the Legislature and now awaits signing by Governor Jerry Brown. If approved by the governor, Block stated, “it will just make it a lot easier to get in and get out of community colleges.”

Block was questioned at a forum in Room 220 by Sue Gonda, president of the Academic Senate; Russ Lindquist, editor of the GC Summit, and Marc Arizmendez, news director of Griffin Radio. As chairman of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, Block reviews all legislation affecting colleges and universities in the state. He was welcomed on campus by Chancellor Cindy L. Miles and President Sunita V. Cooke.

Block said the governor recently signed another piece of legislation that will aid community college students. Described as the CSU Appeals Bill, the legislation requires state colleges who reject a student for admission to explain to that student what appeals process is available to him or her.

“Last year, SDSU changed its policy. They had allowed local students into San Diego State as long as they met minimum eligibility requirements of CSU’s,” Block said. “With almost no notice, they changed their policy and said they were not going to accept those students,” Block continued. Many concerns were raised about the state budget by the panel and in a question and answer session with moderated by journalism instructor Donald H. Harrison.

Block responded with some staggering figures. “When I first got into the Assembly, which was only three years ago, California had $120 billion in the state budget, now we only have $85 billion,” he said. “So we’ve lost 25-30 percent of our budget.”

Until the financial situation turns around, he added, there is little that can be done by the Legislature to increase revenues to the Community Colleges. However, he said, clarifying procedures – such as by creating a standard Assessment Test for all Community College – can save the colleges money.

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Brauer is a student in Media Comm 132; he may be contacted at [email protected]