Whether your focus is curricular and academic or includes broader political interests, the impact of the implementation of AB 705 can’t be overestimated. It’s not just a foot in the door leading to the privatization and corporatization of higher education -- the door has now been kicked open.
We’re seeing the impact in our classes as students who are not prepared for college-level courses in math and English are being denied the chance to take the remedial classes that would have prepared them for those courses. Instead, the colleges are expanding the online NetTutor program to do what our faculty should be doing. It’s the District’s version of automation.
In response, the Guild is working with the District Academic Senate, which has submitted a letter to the Board of Trustees to more accurately interpret AB 705 and is asking the LACCD Chancellor to recognize some degree-applicable courses as college level courses. We believe that nothing in the law requires the elimination of all remedial courses. We are awaiting a reply.
In addition, we are aligned with the L.A. County Fed, CFT, and AFT to move our academic and political agendas forward in order to alleviate the chronic and structural underfunding of public education on a state level.
We also find ourselves facing other issues that we can no longer ignore. Forty percent of our students who are housing and food insecure need assistance to find stable living arrangements, deal with food insecurity, and obtain mental health and social services. The answer supplied by AB 302 (Berman) – to let them sleep in their cars in our campus parking lots – is not enough. The Guild is ready to work with the District, city government, the County Board of Supervisors, nonprofits, and state and federal legislators to address these critical issues. It’s a matter of social justice.
This summer our Guild is gearing up for the most important thing we Guild do -- contract negotiations. We’ll be preparing by sending you a survey – please watch for it and respond. Also, be sure to attend your campus chapter meetings to provide input.
AFT 1521 President