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Education

Free City College!

By Marcy Rein, Vicki Legion and Mickey Ellinger

This article is a preview from the book Free City! Reclaiming College of San Francisco and Free Education for All.

Community colleges serve more than 40 percent of all US college students and provide a crucial entry point to post-secondary education for working class students and students of color. California teaches an outsize share of community college students, and City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is one of the state’s largest. Since its founding in 1935, CCSF has grown deep roots in the community. It teaches firefighters, chefs, medical techs and scores of other essential workers; its English as a Second Language department, the school’s largest, has taught English to generations of new immigrants; it has opened paths to four-year colleges, second chances, and lifelong learning. Sometimes called “the most important working class institution in San Francisco,” it stands firm on the 1960s legacy of open admissions.

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City College: Free, Accredited and Still Fighting

By Marcy Rein

Relentless organizing by labor, students, and community members won San Francisco the most inclusive free community college plan in the country. Yet the program approved by the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) Board of Trustees on Feb. 9, 2017 fell short of proponents’ goals. Assistance for students who already get state tuition waivers will be much more limited than originally planned, and many undocumented students will get no help at all.

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Time Runs Short to Stop SF Public Land Giveaway

Street art by Ivy Jeanne McClelland, part of Clarion Alley Mural Project in San Francisco’s Mission District. cc 2017 Marcy Rein

Community college and low-income residents face big loss of public resource

By Marcy Rein and Christine Hanson

On weekdays the windswept lot next to the main campus of City College of San Francisco (CCSF) can hold close to 1,000 cars belonging to students and teachers. On weekends a motorcycle safety class practices there, as does the marching band from Archbishop Riordan High School. This lot, the Balboa Reservoir, is one of the largest tracts of public land in land-starved San Francisco—and a key arena in the city’s fight to stem displacement of its vulnerable communities and the institutions that serve them.

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For-Profit Piranhas

By Marcy Rein

“The forces that stand to gain from the downsizing of City College are the San Francisco real estate developers, the student loan industry, the for-profit schools that our students will go to and take on horrendous debt, because they’re so expensive, and our administrators who are paying themselves inflated salaries,” says Wendy Kaufmyn, an engineering professor and Save City College activist.

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