BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                              Senator Carol Liu, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

            Bill No:             SB 373             
            |Author:    |Pan                                                  |
            |Version:   |April 06, 2015                             Hearing   |
            |           |Date:    April 8, 2015                               |
            |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
            |Consultant:|Lenin Del Castillo                                   |
            |           |                                                     |
            Subject:  California Community Colleges:  overload  
            assignments and full-time faculty percentage

            This bill would establish the Community College Excellence  
            in Education Act and set a cap on the number of part-time  
            faculty for each community college district based on the  
            2014-15 fiscal year, thereby limiting new hires to only  
            full-time faculty until the district reaches a 75 percent  
            threshold of full-time faculty.  This bill would also  
            prohibit new tenure-track faculty from performing overload  
            assignments during their probationary period.  

            Existing law defines "faculty" as those employees of a  
            community college district who are employed in academic  
            positions that are not designated as supervisory or  
            management, as specified.  Faculty include, but are not  
            limited to, instructors, librarians, counselors, community  
            college health services professionals, handicapped student  
            programs and services professionals, and extended  
            opportunity programs and services professionals.  (Education  
            Code  87003)

            Existing law defines any person who is employed to teach for  


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            not more than 67% of the hours per week considered a  
            full-time assignment to be a temporary (part-time) employee.  
             (Education Code  87482.5 and  87882)  

            The Board of Governors (BOG) of the California Community  
            Colleges (CCC) has had a longstanding policy that at least  
            75 percent of the hours of credit instruction in the CCC, as  
            a system, should be taught by full-time instructors  
            (commonly referred to as "75/25").  Existing law requires  
            the BOG to adopt regulations regarding the percent of credit  
            instruction taught by full-time faculty and authorizes CCC  
            districts with less than 75% full-time instructors to apply  
            a portion of their "program improvement" funds toward  
            reaching a 75 percent goal.  However, the state has stopped  
            providing program improvement funds and the BOG has since  
            required CCC districts to provide a portion of their growth  
            funds to hiring more full-time faculty.  (Education Code   

            This bill:

               1.   Adds legislative intent to improve and enhance the  
                 mission of the community colleges and the services and  
                 opportunities provided to students by increasing the  
                 number of full-time faculty in the California Community  
                 Colleges to better situate the community colleges to  
                 realize their mission goals and the goals and  
                 recommendations set forth by the Student Success Task  
                 Force report of 2012.

               2.   Establishes the Community College Excellence in  
                 Education Act.

               3.   Requires all community college districts to report  
                 to the board of governors, by March 31, 2016, the total  
                 number of classroom and non-classroom full-time  
                 equivalent faculty attributable to hours worked by  
                 part-time temporary faculty and by contract or regular  
                 faculty while working on overload assignments during  


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                 the 2014-15 fiscal year.

               4.   Provides that effective July 1, 2016, each  
                 district's calculation specified above shall become  
                 that district's maximum allowable number of classroom  
                 and non-classroom full-time equivalent faculty that may  
                 be staffed by part-time temporary faculty and by  
                 contract or regular faculty while working on overload  
                 assignments until the district's full time faculty  
                 percentage, as specified, is greater than or equal to  
                 75 percent.  

               5.   Requires a community college district, upon reaching  
                 the 75 percent threshold, to do either of the  

                    A.        Maintain a full-time faculty percentage of  
                      75 percent or greater.

                    B.        Not exceed its maximum allowable number of  
                      classroom and non-classroom full-time equivalent  
                      faculty that may be staffed by part-time temporary  
                      faculty and by contract or regular faculty while  
                      working on overload assignments.

               1.   Requires the board of governors to determine whether  
                 a community college district failed to comply with the  
                 bill's provisions during the preceding fiscal year and  
                 if so, shall designate an amount of the district's  
                 apportionment, after April 15 of the current fiscal  
                 year, that is equal to the difference between the  
                 current fiscal year apportionment and the lesser of the  
                 district's apportionment for the 2014-15 fiscal year or  
                 for the preceding fiscal year.

               2.   Provides that the apportionment amount that the  
                 board of governors identifies shall be deposited in the  
                 county treasury to the credit of the district, but  
                 unavailable for expenditure by the district pending a  
                 determination to be made by the board of governors.

               3.   Allows a community college district to apply in  
                 writing to the board of governors for an exemption, as  
                 specified, by no later than September 15 if it appears  


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                 that withholding the apportionment will result in a  
                 serious hardship to the district.

               4.   Requires a community college district that applies  
                 for an exemption to provide the exclusive  
                 representative of the district's academic employees or  
                 academic senate and all academic employee organizations  
                 eligible for a payroll dues deduction with a copy of  
                 the application.  These persons may transmit a written  
                 statement opposing the application, setting forth  
                 reasons for its opposition.

               5.   Requires the board of governors, upon receipt of the  
                 application and statement of opposition, to do either  
                 of the following:

                    A.        Grant the district an exemption for any  
                      amount that is less than $1,000, which shall be  
                      immediately available for expenditure by the  
                      governing board.

                    B.        Grant an exemption of $1,000 or more if a  
                      majority of the members of the board of governors  
                      finds that the district will suffer serious  
                      hardship unless it is granted an exemption.

               6.   Requires the board of governors, if no application  
                 for exemption is made, to order the entire designated  
                 amount, or the amount not exempted, to be returned.

               7.   Requires the board of governors to enforce the  
                 requirements prescribed in this bill and allows then to  
                 adopt necessary rules and regulations.

               8.   Prohibits a community college district from  
                 assigning a person hired as a contract faculty member,  
                 after July 1, 2016, to teach any overload assignment in  
                 excess of the equivalent of a full-time teaching load  
                 until the person has achieved tenured status as a  
                 regular faculty member.

            STAFF COMMENTS

               1.   Need for the bill.  According to the author's  


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                 office, only 51-56 percent of community college courses  
                 are taught by full-time faculty which has  
                 disproportionately affected community colleges serving  
                 large numbers of first generation college students,  
                 low-income, and/or unrepresented groups.  Further, the  
                 decrease in full-time faculty has resulted in decreased  
                 student engagement services shown to increase  
                 retention, graduation, and transfer rates.  For  
                 example, part-time faculty, who are pressed for time,  
                 spend zero to few hours in a typical week advising  
                 students, even though advising is one of the most  
                 sought after services by students.  The author's office  
                 indicates that full-time professors can help alleviate  
                 this high need by helping provide academic and career  
                 guidance to students during office hours.  In addition,  
                 full-time faculty are available to meet and counsel  
                 students, participate in curriculum review and  
                 updating, serve as advisors for student organizations,  
                 and serve on committees to fulfill the complete mission  
                 of the community college.  

               2.   Is this the appropriate remedy?  The bill's  
                 objective to increase full-time faculty is consistent  
                 with AB 1725 (Vasconcellos, 1988) which established the  
                 goal of ensuring that 75 percent of all community  
                 college courses be delivered by full-time faculty.   
                 While it is difficult to dispute the importance of  
                 full-time faculty and their ability to provide student  
                 support services and serve in leadership capacities in  
                 the campus community, the Committee may wish to  
                 consider whether the proposed strategy would be  
                 effective without providing additional resources.  For  
                 example, to the extent that a local community college  
                 is looking to offer additional courses due to high  
                 demand, the district may not be able to do so if it  
                 lacks the resources necessary to hire a full-time  
                 faculty member and is prohibited from hiring a  
                 part-time faculty member to teach the course.  In this  
                 scenario, the bill could have an unintended consequence  
                 of reducing the flexibility of the district to meet its  
                 local needs and quickly respond to changing market  
                 demands.  Could the bill also have the effect of  
                 reducing access for students if the colleges are unable  
                 to expand course offerings?  Districts that offer  


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                 unique programs where the number of experts available  
                 to teach may be limited could find it particularly  
                 challenging to comply with the requirements of this  
                 bill.  One could also argue the bill infringes upon  
                 local decision-making of the community college  
                 districts and removes some of their discretion in  

               3.   Shift from "outcomes" to "inputs"?  Pursuant to  
                 Chapter 409, Statutes of 2010 (SB 1143, Liu) the Board  
                 of Governors of the California Community Colleges  
                 created the Student Success Task Force (SSTF); 20  
                 members (community college chief executive officers,  
                 faculty, students, researchers, staff and external  
                 stake holders) who spent a year researching, studying  
                 and debating the best methods to improve student  
                 outcomes at the community colleges.  It was their goal  
                 to identify best practices for promoting student  
                 success and to develop statewide strategies to take  
                 these approaches to scale while ensuring that  
                 educational opportunity for historically  
                 underrepresented students would not just be maintained,  
                 but bolstered.  The report noted that while a number of  
                 disturbing statistics around student completion reflect  
                 the challenges faced by the students they serve, they  
                 also clearly demonstrate the need for the system to  
                 recommit to finding new and better ways to serve its  
                 students.  The SSTF efforts resulted in 22 specific  
                 recommendations which were to be implemented through  
                 regulatory changes, system-wide administrative  
                 policies, local best practices and legislation.  

            Additionally, in its commitment to increase transfer and  
            degree and certificate attainment, the Board of Governors of  
            the California Community Colleges created the Student  
            Success Scorecard, a performance measurement system that  
            tracks student success at all of the 112 community colleges.  
             The data available in the scorecard is intended to tell how  
            well the colleges are doing in remedial instruction, job  
            training programs, retention of students, and graduation and  
            completion rates.

                 The Committee may wish to consider whether this bill,  
                 by focusing on "inputs", represents a departure from  


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                 these efforts which are aimed at improving the  
                 educational outcomes of students and workforce  

               4.   Implications on local bargaining.  The average  
                 percentage of full-time faculty statewide is  
                 approximately 56 percent.  The difference between  
                 part-time and full-time faculty is left to local  
                 discretion and each of the community college districts  
                 may decide differently.  By forcing districts to only  
                 hire full-time faculty under specified circumstances  
                 and prohibiting new tenure-track full-time faculty from  
                 teaching overload assignments, this bill could be in  
                 conflict with existing local bargaining agreements.  

               5.   Overload assignments.  The term "overload  
                 assignments" refers to the practice of full-time  
                 faculty electing to teach additional courses (with  
                 additional pay) beyond their normal full-time teaching  
                 load.  While policies regarding overload assignments  
                 can vary significantly among community colleges and  
                 departments, they are generally designed to ensure that  
                 the primary responsibilities of faculty are not  
                 compromised by the overload assignments.  Some colleges  
                 require individual assignments to be approved by  
                 department deans while others have negotiated  
                 district-wide caps that range from one course to 67% of  
                 a full-time load.  According to the CCC Chancellor's  
                 Office, a recent survey revealed that 13 of 44  
                 responding colleges indicated that they have a policy  
                 or bargaining agreement allowing full-time faculty to  
                 have more than a 50% overload.  According to the  
                 Chancellor's Office, for the Fall 2011 semester, of the  
                 14,489 tenured or tenured track faculty teaching  
                 California Community College (CCC) classes, 172 (1.2%)  
                 had an overload exceeding 50%.  Note that the Los  
                 Angeles Community College District, which encompasses  
                 about 8% of statewide CCC enrollment, was not included  
                 in this data.  
                   This bill prohibits newly hired tenure-track faculty  
              from teaching overload 
            assignments.  While prohibiting excessive overload  
            assignments may make it easier for part-time faculty to  


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            continue teaching, this provision could reduce the  
            flexibility of districts to meet local needs and also have  
            local bargaining implications.  

               6.   Related and prior legislation.  

                 AB 950 (Chau, 2013) proposed that a full-time faculty  
                 member, as defined, for a community college district  
                 shall not be assigned a workload that includes overload  
                 or extra assignments if the overload or extra  
                 assignments exceed fifty percent of a full-time  
                 workload in a semester or quarter that commences on or  
                 after January 1, 2014, with several exceptions, as  
                 specified.  AB 950 passed this Committee but  
                 subsequently failed passage in the Senate  
                 Appropriations Committee.

                AB 1826 (Hernandez, 2012) would have prohibited a  
              full-time faculty 
                 member from being assigned a workload with an overload  
                 or extra assignments exceeding 50% of the full-time  
                 semester or quarter workload, as specified.  AB 1826  
                 passed this Committee but subsequently failed passage  
                 in the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

            California Federation of Teachers (sponsor)
            California Teachers Association
            Faculty Association of California Community Colleges
            San Diego County Board of Education
            San Ysidro School District

             Community College League of California
            Kern Community College District
            Los Rios Community College District
            Pasadena Community College District
            Peralta Community College District
            San Diego Community College District
            South Orange Community College District
            Yuba Community College District


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