Hundreds of people marched to San Francisco City Hall Thursday afternoon demanding support for City College. Protesters asked the city to commit to funding the school and to reverse cuts to classes, programs and staff.

Hundreds of protesters marched into City Hall asking for the mayor to commit to further funding the school. (Deborah Svoboda/KQED)
Hundreds of protesters marched into City Hall asking for the mayor to commit to further funding the school. (Deborah Svoboda/KQED)

The school faces a Friday deadline to demonstrate to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges that it has addressed 14 serious management and fiscal problems the commission identified earlier this year. If the commission decertifies the school, City College would lose federal funding and could be effectively shut down this summer.

Protesters stopped at Mission High School where students joined the protest, and the march continued into City Hall. Police, who had been escorting the crowd on bicycles, formed a line to keep the crowd from going further.

The crowd chanted, “Come out, Mr. Lee.”

Mayor Ed Lee did not appear. Marchers stayed inside for about 20 minutes before moving outside to hear speeches.

Unlike past Save CCSF protests, which targeted school administrators, this one urged elected city officials to take action.

The Save CCSF Coalition said they want the city of San Francisco to commit to filling any budget gaps the school experiences, and to reverse cuts to classes, programs and staff with funds from Proposition A, which was passed by local voters last November.

“The Proposition A money that was promised to come back to City College to bring back the laid off teachers and the programs that have been cut—it’s not coming here,”  Professor Elizabeth Silver, who teaches English as a Second Language, told KQED’s Guy Marzorati. “It’s being put in the reserve, it’s being used to pay consultants, and that’s not what the citizens voted for. ”

In recent months City College has cut several certificate programs, staff salaries and staff positions to balance the school’s budget. The school also cut classes and let class sizes grow.

A Bay Citizen investigation revealed that the college spends 92 percent of its budget on salaries and benefits in general.

The group Save CCSF also called on the U.S. Department of Education to stop what they call the accreditation commission’s “unjustified” actions against the school.

Protesters Demand Help for City College of San Francisco (Photos) 15 March,2013Rachael Bale

  • Let them pay for their own college. If they can’t come up with the money from tuition and donations, then shut the school down. But quit using the tax system to steal from others just to fund their pet project

    • kathy emery

      and we should pay for our own police, our own K-12 education and our own firefighters? and our own parks. that is where we are going if the trend continues and we don’t stop the elimination of public space (back to feudalism).

  • Zen

    They’re shutting the whole college down. Can you imagine how many people who WANT to educate them selves for the betterment of their future will be out of school and possibly options? I can think of many other ways people steal from the tax system – unemployment, EBT, healthcare fraud, not to mention the government spending millions for the “protection of our country”. Why don’t you channel your anger towards that instead.

    and SF, geez didn’t you just start making millions of extra cash by changing parking meter rules for SUnday? Use that to fund the college. Such a rich city! It’s sad to hear that you can;t even keep a city college afloat!

    • mint

      A recent change in January will not help much in gaining millions of funding for a college that caters to millions of students. Plus the recent change is not much and this rule has only been recently changed this year and so far only barely 3 months have passed. You can`t really gain that much funding in 3 measly months. S.F. is not really a rich city since I live here but the prices here are just more expensive.

    • guest

      Why didn’t Ed Lee come out to support the protesters. He sent flyers to every SF household to vote yes on Prop A.

  • Becca

    So what happened? the deadline was Friday…


Rachael Bale

Rachael Bale is researcher and reporter for The Center for Investigative Reporting and occasional contributor to KQED News and The California Report. A California native, she has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Reed College and a master’s degree in journalism from American University.

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