By Leonard Kelley / Staff Writer
The cost of Summer and Winter units may rise due to the approval of Assembly Bill 955.
The bill that would raise fees from $46 to $200 per unit for the special sessions starting this Winter passed in the Assembly on Sept. 10 and in the Senate on Sept. 9 . LBCC Civic Engagement Club President Jessica Bracho, a sociology major, said, “We are gathering students, teachers and community members to help us kill AB 955.”
“We hope that Gov. Jerry Brown will take our many voices in opposition to AB 955 into consideration and veto this bill.” The bill is in Brown’s office, but he has not announced if he will sign it. Meanwhile, LBCC’s student Cabinet planned to meet in special session Wednesday, Sept. 18, to debate whether to oppose or support the bill LBCC President Eloy Oakley stated in the Long Beach Register, “State budget cuts have left Community Colleges with no alternatives other than to reduce the number of class offerings available to students. “More than 500,000 students have been affected statewide.
“Signing of AB 955 gives low-income, veterans and waitlist students the ability to enroll for Summer and Winter classes” at a higher price. According to a March 2013 report by the Public Policy Institute of California, the number of courses offered at Community Colleges has declined by 21 percent since 2008, with almost 60 percent of the drop coming from reduced Summer term classes.Cedric Anderson, 19, an anthropology major, said, “The reason I am fighting as hard as I am against this bill is because no student had any say in a matter that affects them directly. “I have hope that everyone will connect to veto this bill. ” Valentino Calderon said, “I know a lot of students need intersession classes, because most of the students are full-time workers or parents.
“Community Colleges are key in providing California residents with educational and professional goals.” Stephanie Deschams, 24, a nursing and psychology major, said, “Our voices are not being heard. The next step is to veto the bill. “We have created an online petition to veto AB 955 and I urge students to visit our website and sign the petition. The link is VETOAB955@change.org.”