June 19, 2020

Is this the end of the road for Calbright?

The coronavirus crisis has increased calls to eliminate Calbright, which former California Gov. Jerry Brown championed as a way to expand online education options for the state’s adult workers. Calbright is the state’s first online-only community college.

Yet union leaders and key lawmakers have fought against the college from the start. That opposition boiled over last week, when the California Assembly’s budget proposal called for the Calbright’s board of trustees to establish a closure plan for the online school by the end of the year.

The proposal aims to reroute $75 million from the institution to create grants to help the state’s other community colleges pay for mental health services, housing and food insecurity as a result of the pandemic, as well as to connect with students who dropped out this spring. It would also use $10.6 million from Calbright funds to support part-time faculty members’ office hours and compensation programs at these institutions.

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