The Honorable Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez, Chair
Assembly Appropriations Committee
State Capitol, Room 2114
Sacramento, California 95814
Re: AB 897 (Medina) Position: Co-Sponsor
Honorable Assembly Member Gonzalez,
As Chair of the California Part Time Faculty Association (CPFA), I am writing to express resounding support for AB 897. Tens of thousands of faculty in the California Community Colleges system are in dire need of improvements to their working conditions, which this bill will help to bring about. We hope this Committee also finds AB 897 as critical to student success as we do by taking swift action to facilitate its passage.
Beyond what AB 897 does for part-time faculty and students, there are obvious advantages to the state and college districts. Most significantly, AB 897 is a “no-cost” item; in fact, the bill will likely save the state money. With the current 67% limit on part-time teaching loads, turnover of faculty who teach over 50% of classes in the CCC system is staggeringly high; mainly because most of these instructors struggle or fail to supplement their “capped” teaching earnings with additional jobs or teaching positions in neighboring districts. The result is that districts must continuously engage in new hire orientations and evaluations, which drains vital resources.
Furthermore, when AB 951 (Dymally) raised the cap from 60% to 67% district programs also benefited in terms of flexibility. For example, in high demand, unit heavy courses, such as, Math, English and Science, part-time faculty were allowed to take on more than just one or two courses, which regularly left districts scrambling last minute to make new hires. Raising the cap again to 80-85%, would further increase the flexibility of districts to offer more high demand classes utilizing returning part-time instructors.
Also evident from previous cap increases is that students benefit profoundly, not just from more course offerings, but also from an increase in opportunities to interact with their part-time instructors outside normal classroom hours. It stands to reason that raising the cap to 80-85% will further enhance student success because faculty who have an incentive to stay on ( a single) campus also have more time and energy to prioritize their students.
For thousands of temporary faculty, AB 897 will go a long way towards creating the continuity and stability desperately needed by a precarious workforce, will clearly benefit districts, and will ultimately translate into greater student success statewide. For these compelling reasons, we respectfully urge you and the Committee to move this bill to the assembly floor.
Thank you for your service and attention to this matter.
John Martin, Chair
California Part-time Faculty Association
View and download the Original Letter to Gonzalez.
Read more about the cap: Original Letter to Medina