Corporations try to Kill Community Colleges

Tiny - Posted on 13 August 2012


My 15 month old son and i were down to our last piece of WIC cheese. I was tired and depressed from multiple poverty struggles and impending houselessness as the sole caregiver of my mama who was very sick, no job and no child care for my son . With very little hope left I pushed my son's stroller on to the campus of my local community college. Within a month I had free child care from the revolutionary Family Resource Center at City College of San Francisco, a small federal grant which covered my books and tuition and was enrolled in two General Education classes. This poor people college access is exactly why i believe that corporate interests are trying to squash the last hope for educational access across the country.

The community college system educates thousands of working-class and poor people across the state of California without saddling us with massive debt. And City College of San Francisco alone educates over 90,000 students.

Last month a "report" was released stating that CCSF was "riddled" with a "slow-moving style of governance" and "paltry financial reserves" and something else about leadership- translation, corporations could make alot of money on the 90,000 students at CCSF, so let's come up with a series of false attacks to destroy this public institution.

So who created this "report"? According to Kathleen Carroll, a lawyer and whistleblower, the corporations and the non-profit corporations (or philanthro-pimps as i affectionately call them) are in fact trying to kill the community colleges, "Free market fundamentalists, are trying to eradicate public education, " Carroll stated and goes on to explain that so-called non-profit funders like the Lumina Foundation, The James and Flora Hewitt and the James Irvine Foundations who claim to "fund" education are in fact behind many of the appointees to the very Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCCJC) who released the report that is threatening City College with revocation of their accreditation. And in the case of the Lumina, Foundation, it used to be a for profit corporation that was one of the largest loan guarantors for student loans,

Mmmm, let me see, wouldn't a loan guarantor make alot more interest on a higher loan premium that a working -class or poor student would have to take out to go to a DeVry or Heald College or even a 4 year state college or University, than the smaller loan you would need or the no loan at all you would need to go to City College?

In the state of California they have already successfully closed Compton College and Cuesta College and College of the Redwoods are also on the chopping block.

And its no accident that corporate media like the LA times and the SF Chronicle who released stories on this "shocking report" who have multi-million dollar ad campaigns from The University of Phoenix and other private corporate "schools" have made no mention of this connection. All this while 4 year universities raise their tuitions so high that most working famiies can no longer dream of a college education for their children.

There is a myth about education funding that it is  "good debt" but someone who is the child of a poor wombyn of color who fought and struggled to get a degree By ANy Means Necessary, including charging up thousands of dollars of debt that her poor body of color could never repay. Corporate thugs like Lumina were harassing my mama after she passed, threatening me and my family, stealing every bit of blood-stained Amerikan money she was ever able to attain. And for what, so she could have a piece of paper from an institution that never really materialized into a living wage job, because she didnt have the "connections" and wasn't political enough to swallow her indigenous spirit and go along with corporate non-profit protocol.

Six years later, I work with fellow poverty, migrant, disability, elder, indigenous and youth skolaz at POOR Magazine to create a poor people-led skool we call PeopleSkool/Escuela De la gente started by me and my mama as a resistance to the death-like grip held on education by endowments, philathro-pimps and corporate interests.

I personally could not afford the tuition of a 4 year college and I will NEVER buy into the idea that institutional-"learned" education is somehow better than people-attained, "lived" education, but that said, that moment at City College changed my life, letting me think, expanding my mind and opening me up to other possibilities and without it, I am sure I wouldnt have had the energy to keep on the journey of struggle, resistance and revolution

Thanks, Tiny, for this incisive testimonial, and for all of your writing, teaching, and advocacy work.

City College needs enrollment for the Spring to keep our doors open. And the current administration is using the lack of enrollment to justify layoffs and pay cuts. But what if we met enrollment?

I've spoken to some individuals who would like to sponsor students to take classes in the Spring.

If you know anyone who would be interested in this opportunity, let me know and I'll see if I can make it work? All of the Interdisciplinary Studies classes are still open, but so are many others...

Thanks, Lauren


well, this is news to me, though of course not surprising. my daughter wanted to enroll in sf city college instead of laney, but the reports about possible loss of accreditation scared me off. i should've known better. of course i'm not remotely caught up in believing that accreditation or lack thereof would really somehow value or de value what i know is a great educational environment at sf city college. my concern was our eligibility for continued housing assistance, which i believed at the time was dependent upon her being enrolled in an accredited institution.

now i've found this is not the case, that she doesn't have to be enrolled at all to stay living with me and receive assistance based on her (nonexistent) income.

so why am i tapping this? because this same child of mine was not enrolled the past two semesters, and earned zero credits her first semester, because opd beat the crap outta her and abducted her, sending her into a mental/emotional downward spiral for many months. as of the moment, we're still awaiting decision by laney financial aid as to whether she'll receive her grant, based on having not earned credits in her first semester, thanks to opd abuse.

these things are all connected, as we know.

now she's enrolled and awaiting confirmation for financial aid. if she won't receive the aid, she doesn't want to take classes here in the east bay. she is eligible for fee waiver, but that's not enough, and won't be available unless she's enrolled full time, which we may not be able to afford without a cal grant.

the bottom line of this story is that sf community college lost a potential student because of the big hype published about lost of accreditation. if you can somehow find out how many students did not enroll because of these false or blown out of proportion reports by corporate media, that might help. maybe they can be held accountable for losing students to city college.


You are so right, Tiny. This is even bigger, and I know it won't surprise you. It goes to the top of our government and the connections between politicians and the investment firms that are backing a lot of the privately funded student loans at the for-profit universities, which target "customers" who most likely will never graduate. And then Congress has made it so that student loan debt can't be forgiven as part of bankruptcy proceedings. Again, no surprise as a lot of them are getting campaign contributions from the loan, there are former members of Congress (both major parties) working as lobbyists for the for-profit university industry. Oh, and then on top of that, the instructors at these universities aren't paid well, plus they have very little (if any) power to decide the curriculum for the classes they teach. Here's a recent article that delves into the way politicians, Wall Street, and for-profit universities are in this together:

P.S. This is's listing me as Anonymous...

i know i only began the un-packing of this BS- please keep informing - the more folx know maybe we can get sum truth thru the lies

Oh, we'll definitely keep this discussion going...and I'll keep speaking out wherever and whenever possible...


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