New laws help college

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’The bill was sponsored by College of the Canyons. “Summer school is an outstanding way for high school students to get a jump-start on their college education or explore job-training opportunities,” said College of the Canyons President Dianne Van Hook. “It gives them a chance to focus on particular courses of study and, in the process, prove to themselves they have what it takes to succeed in college. Those students are much more likely to continue with college after high school and earn an advanced degree.” Also signed was SB 1304, which authorizes community colleges to use state capital-outlay funds to acquire buildings that meet certain conditions and to convert them for school use. The building must have been constructed under Field Act standards – design standards for buildings used for kindergarten through 12th grade and community colleges – or else meet safety standards equivalent to those of the act. The bill requires that the cost of buying and converting a building be equal to or less than the estimated cost of constructing a new building. A third condition is that the community college district would own the land under the building or hold a long-term lease for the site. LANCASTER – Bills giving community colleges more funding and greater flexibility in providing classrooms were signed by the governor. State Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, who authored or co-authored the bills, said they are aimed at making it easier for community colleges to fulfill their mission and provide greater access for students. Runner this week said the bills address long-standing issues for the state’s community college system. “California’s community colleges are vital to our educational system,” Runner said. “These new laws support community colleges and provide opportunities for more students to access classes.” Among the bills signed was Senate Bill 1303, which abolishes the 5 percent limit on the proportion of high school students who may be enrolled in a community college summer class, even when the class is not full. The bill removes the cap for students taking academic courses that are transferrable to a state college or university, vocational courses and courses to help them pass the high school exit exam, Runner said. Current law prevents community colleges from receiving state funds to buy property unless it is recommended by the California Postsecondary Education Commission. Also signed was SB 361, authored by Jack Scott, D-Pasadena and co-authored by Runner, that changes the funding system for community colleges and provides $159 million in equalization money. Antelope Valley College has used previous equalization allotments to hire additional instructors and support staffers – for example, to start an education program in respiratory therapy. The governor did veto one of Runner’s community college bills, SB 1290. That bill was vetoed because its provisions are included in the education bond measure, Proposition 1D, that goes before voters in November. SB 1290 would have allowed community colleges to use Uniform Building Code standards for buildings, rather than costlier Field Act standards. The Field Act exemption bill, co-authored by Denise Ducheny, D-Chula Vista, would have placed community colleges on the same regulatory footing as state universities and colleges for construction, rather on the footing for elementary, middle and high schools. The Field Act, adopted in the wake of the 1933 Long Beach Earthquake, requires a stringent design-specification and construction-inspection process at facilities built for public school students in kindergarten through 12th grade, and community colleges also are covered by the act. Supporters of an exemption say improvements since the 1930s in overall building standards for withstanding earthquakes make separate Field Act standards unnecessary. They also say that including community colleges in the Field Act, but not state colleges and universities, creates a double standard. One example of a double-standard situation is on the Antelope Valley College campus, where there is a classroom building for California State University, Bakersfield. Students of CSUB can use Antelope Valley College classrooms for courses, but AVC students cannot use the CSUB building because of the Field Act. james.skeen@dailynews (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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