Capitol Alert

AM Alert: City College of San Francisco accreditation trial begins

Students wait for class to begin on the first day of school at Sacramento City College on August 24, 2009.
Students wait for class to begin on the first day of school at Sacramento City College on August 24, 2009.

The long and winding saga of City College of San Francisco’s accreditation has reached the courtroom. A lawsuit brought by the San Francisco city attorney against a regional accrediting commission arguing that City College was improperly sanctioned begins the trial phase today and continues through Friday.

City College has been in limbo since 2012, when it was cited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges for numerous fiscal and governance issues. After giving the school eight months to address its problems, the commission found City College to be out compliance with its standards and voted to revoke its accreditation, effective this past summer.

City College and its allies have fought the decision vigorously; loss of accreditation would make the school ineligible for federal financial aid and likely force it to shut down. It serves more than 80,000 students – the largest public college in California.

A judge halted revocation of City College’s accreditation pending the outcome of trial, which will determine whether the commission properly evaluated the school and gave it sufficient time to reverse course. The college is hoping for its accreditation to be restored and for a new evaluation to take place.

In June, a scathing state audit concluded the accrediting commission acted inconsistently and without enough public disclosure in its treatment of City College.

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LOWERING THE BAR: The Low Carbon Fuel Standard is one of the centerpieces of California’s fight against global warming, a 2007 executive order by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger requiring fuel producers to reduce the “carbon intensity” of their products by 10 percent by 2020. The California Air Resources Control Board will discuss strategies for compliance and cost containment under the regulations, which survived a major legal challenge from oil and out-of-state farm groups this summer, during a public workshop at 9 a.m. at the Cal/EPA Headquarters on I Street.

SHATTERING THE CEILING: Pushing for more gender equity in government, California Women Lead and Women Lawyers of Sacramento are hosting a workshop to help women interested in seeking appointments to state and local boards, commissions and committees. The event, 6 p.m. at 555 Capitol Mall, features Mona Pasquil, appointments secretary for Gov. Jerry Brown.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to state Sen. Mark Wyland, R-Solana Beach, who turns 68 today, and to Secretary of State Debra Bowen, who turns 59.

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.