Bills help strengthen colleges
State Sen. Leland Yee received CCA’s “Legislator of the Year” award for his continuing commitment to faculty and community colleges.
“Leland Yee’s commitment to education has been shown in many pieces of legislation he has sponsored for students and faculty,” said CCA President Ron Norton Reel.
Citing two recent major bills carried by the senator, Reel observed, “Without him, our community colleges would be much weaker.”
Many pieces of legislation
Yee’s commitment to education has been shown in many pieces of legislation he has sponsored on freedom of information and freedom of speech for students and faculty. The two bills that are particularly important for community college faculty include SB 114, which penalizes college districts for submitting false information regarding part-time faculty to the Employment Development Department. This bill ensures that over 40,000 part-time faculty teaching in California community colleges are eligible to receive unemployment insurance when they are not teaching.
“Imagine how other working Californians would feel if suddenly they lost their jobs and did not have unemployment benefits. Senator Yee made these benefits a reality for our colleagues and fellow part-time faculty members,” Reel said.
The second significant piece of legislation is his 2011 public records bill, SB 8, which mandates that community college foundations be transparent in their financial disclosures.
Access to information
“This new access to information about community college foundations is an important contribution to transparency within our public institutions,” Reel said.
Finally, for all the musicians in our community colleges, Senator Yee sponsored a resolution establishing a Community College Music Day on May 11 of each year.
Yee was on hand to receive his award during CCA’s Fall Conference and thanked community college faculty for providing access to higher education for many students who would not otherwise have it.
“I am honored to receive this award and proud to stand with the students, teachers, and faculty. We have a moral and economic responsibility to invest in public education. In these tough economic times, community colleges are more vital than ever at making sure all Californians have access to higher education,” Yee said.
“CTA, NEA, and the CCA are on the front lines within our schools, colleges and universities, and they deserve to be commended as well as have the resources to ensure every student’s success,” said Yee.