CFT to Initiate Litigation Against Online Community College “CalBright”

Dear Colleagues,

Please see the message below from CFT President Jeff Freitas regarding our potential litigation against the Online College.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need any additional information.
 
In Unity,
Jim
Dear CFT Community College Activists,


On Monday, working with CFT Community College Council President Jim Mahler, I testified before the Board of Trustees of CalBright, California’s online-only community college, sharing our continuing concerns with the launching of this college.


In addition to my testimony on these issues, we submitted a letter (attached) indicating that unless the Online College immediately becomes compliant with all aspects under which it was intended to open and operate, the CFT will initiate legal proceedings to protect the existing community colleges.


During my testimony and in the letter, we shared five central concerns with the Board of Governors:


  1. The Online College is duplicative of existing programs, in direct violation of CA Education Code. CFT Research Director Joanna Valentine found that the initial three core curricular programs being developed by the college (Medical Coding, Information Technology, and Cyber Security) already exist in a minimum of 15 examples in established colleges. Also in violation of Education Code, we believe that the chancellor’s office failed to notify the Legislature and Department of Finance about the duplicative offerings.


  1. The Online College is a diversion of critical taxpayer resources, coming at the expense of other current initiatives and programs, including all of the current Online CTE Pathways. 


  1. The Online College is recruiting students from other districts, in direct violation of the CA Education Code. Media reports indicate that Online College President Heather Hiles stated the mission of the college would be changing to include face-to-face meetings. When confronted about the apparent conflict, attorney’s for the chancellor’s office essentially indicated that that portion of the Education Code did not apply.


  1. The Online College isn’t informing potential students regarding the implications of taking courses prior to the colleges accreditation. The online college is failing to comply with the legal requirements for transparency regarding their accreditation status.


  1. The Online College hasn’t demonstrated that they have met several critical expectations as they were required to do so by July 1, 2019 deadline. This includes developing a seven-year implementation, developing internal business processes and personnel policies, mapping the student experience, developing an accreditation plan, creating a statewide outreach plan, among others.


Later in the day, several CFT members attended the California Community College’s Board of Governors meeting and reiterated CFT’s No Confidence vote taken in May.  Just for further information the CalBright trustees and the CCC governors are the same people.


We will keep you posted on updates as they become available.


In Unity,
Jeff
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jeffery M Freitas | President
CFT: A Union of Educators and Classified Professionals

1107 Ninth St, Suite 460 
Sacramento, Ca 95814

Phone: 916-446-2788
twitter: @jeff_freitas
Pronouns: he/him/his