SF City College in Trouble, Students Could Lose Financial Aid

The state could take away San Francisco City College's accreditation.

By Chris Roberts
|  Thursday, Jul 5, 2012  |  Updated 1:52 PM PDT
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SF City College in Trouble, Students Could Lose Financial Aid

Blogparatodos on Flickr

There won't be any teach-ins at San Francisco City College this summer. And the school's 90,000 students may be in trouble if the school loses its accreditation. Photo: Blogparatodos on Flickr

San Francisco City College is the biggest community college in California. And it's in big trouble.

The school is in deep fiscal trouble, deep enough to be at risk of losing its accreditation, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. And if City College loses its credentials, the school's 90,000 students could lose any chance at financial aid, the newspaper reported.

City College spends 92 percent of its budget on salaries and benefits, uses too much one-time income to fund ongoing costs, has let retirement benefits spiral out of control and has too few administrators, who are too inexperienced, according to a report by state regulators and inspectors, due out next week.

The report will outline 14 improvements City College must make by next year, the newspaper reported. If the school does not follow the recommended improvements, its accreditation is at risk, the newspaper reported.

The school is busy cutting: officials denied admission to 10,000 students and slashed 700 classes from the fall and summer schedule, the newspaper reported.

City College was also criticized for giving half-time employees full time benefits. Supporters of the school note that instead of administrators, school leaders spent money on teachers.

City College has nine campuses, 2,700 employees, and anywhere from 100 to 200 "learning sites" scattered throughout the city. "No one is sure of the number," the newspaper reported.

The college's main problems are "money and leadership," the newspaper reported. Much money was lost in state budget cuts, forcing the school to make choices, and to go to the voters for a $79 parcel tax in order to make up the difference.

Administrators approved a $187 million budget for next year, a decrease of $8 million.

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