Community college faculty mobilized on February 13 to let the state Legislature know that they want the enormous resources wasted on the Calbright online community college project redirected to the needs of the existing, underfunded campuses around the state. These campuses serve tens of thousands of students, while this one project has absorbed $120 million for fewer than 500 students.
The Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee #1 on Education, chaired by Sen. Richard Roth, held a joint hearing with the Senate Education Committee, chaired by Sen. Connie Leyva. After hearing a defense of the CalBright project from Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor of the California Community Colleges, Roth repeatedly pointed out that the Calbright project duplicates online services already offered by existing community college districts.
Jim Mahler, president of the CFT Community College Council, told senators, “Calbright is spending millions of dollars per FTE, while our existing colleges get less than a tenth of one percent of that to meet the needs of tens of thousands of existing students. There is no moral way to excuse these misplaced priorities.”