Feb 08

San Francisco Becomes First City To Offer Free College For All – “Even Facebook Founder’s Kids”:

“Even the children of the founders of Facebook” will now receive free community college education in San Francisco, Supervisor Jane Kim proudly commented as city leaders agreed to become the first city in the nation to offer its citizenry this ‘basic human right’.

As SFGate.com reports, City College of San Francisco will be free of charge to all city residents under a deal announced Monday by Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Jane Kim that college trustees hope will lead to an enrollment jolt and more state funding for the school.

Under the agreement, which is expected to take effect in the fall, the city will pay $5.4 million a year to buy out the $46-a-credit fee usually paid by students.

The city’s contribution will also provide $250 a semester to full-time, low-income students who already receive a state-funded fee waiver. They will be able to use the money to pay for books, transportation, school supplies and health fees. Part-time students with fee waivers will get $100 a semester for the same purpose.

“Now we can say to California resident students that your City College is free,” Lee said at a City Hall news conference with Kim, City College trustees, faculty members, acting Chancellor Susan Lamb and others. “This is a good story.”

Kim said all San Franciscans who have lived in the city for at least a year will be eligible.

“Even the children of the founders of Facebook,” she said, noting that kindergarten through grade 12 is free to all.

The money will come from a measure that San Francisco voters approved in November, Proposition W, enacting a transfer tax on properties selling for at least $5 million. The Board of Supervisors had earlier voted to use about $13 million of the annual revenue from Prop. W to make City College free to anyone who lives or works in San Francisco — but it was a nonbinding resolution that didn’t formally commit the money for that purpose.

After the election, Lee resisted committing the money to pay for City College fees because voters rejected a proposed sales tax increase on the same ballot that had been expected to bring in $150 million a year. Kim then accused Lee of raiding transfer tax revenue to make up for the loss of the sales tax. The new deal represents a compromise.

Prop. W is expected to raise $44 million annually, with most going into the city’s general fund. The new deal will send $5.4 million of that to students — not to City College — for their fees. Of that, $2.1 million a year for two years has been committed to students for their free education at City College, after which the allocation would have to be renewed by the city. The remainder will go to the students who already have fee waivers.

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Bernie Sanders will be pleased… as weil Mark Zuckerberg – thing of the savings!! No need for Harvard fees, when City College is free right up the street, paid for by your neighbors.

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