Santa Monica College Trustees Postpone Two-Tier Fee Plan

Ann McClure's picture

Santa Monica College reversed course Friday, canceling a two-tier fee program that had sparked student protests, opposition from the state's community colleges chancellor and national debate about the mission of public institutions.

The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to postpone implementation this summer of the dual-fee plan and to gather wider input from students, faculty and staff on how best to increase access to classes — which have suffered drastic reductions in recent years because of state funding cuts.

The vote came after more than three hours of often-impassioned public comment at the 34,000-student campus, which has a reputation for innovative programs that become models for other colleges.

The issue erupted when police used pepper spray outside a board meeting Tuesday to disperse protesters demanding a campus-wide referendum on the tuition plan.

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