Contact: Claudia Briggs at 916-325-1551
SACRAMENTO – To protect educational quality for students at California’s colleges and universities, educators representing employees at 145 public higher education campuses will fan out in the Capitol Wednesday to lobby against a bill to contract out faculty work pertaining to online courses.
This flawed bill, SB 520 by State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, creates more problems than it solves as targeting lower-division courses for online delivery puts at-risk students at even greater risk. The best way for the Legislature to ensure that college students can take the courses they need to graduate on time is to increase funding to public colleges and universities so that there are enough seats in the classes students need.
The legislation, would lower academic standards, exacerbate the educational divide along socio-economic lines, and diminish accountability within colleges. Research shows online courses are not as effective for lower-division students, underprepared students, or lower-income students. This point will be made by a coalition including CTA, the California Faculty Association, the California Federation of Teachers, and the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges.
The California Legislative Analyst’s Office has found that community college students, for example, have lower course completion rates when they take courses online. This bill will also lead to contracting out of instruction to private companies that are not accountable to the public.
In a strong letter sent April 18 to Steinberg by the coalition, the organizations point out that a recent study done by Columbia University shows that online courses worsen the ethnic minority student achievement gap.
- WHAT: Educators lobby against SB 520. The coalition includes the California Teachers Association, the California Federation of Teachers, the California Faculty Association, the Community College Association, the California School Employees Association, Service Employees International Union, the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, California Community College Independents, the California Labor Federation, and Postdoctoral Scholars/UAW.
- WHEN and WHERE: Senate Education Committee, State Capitol Room 4203
9 a.m. Wednesday, April 24
The 325,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.