Further Research on the 50% Law

Spring
2010
Resolution Number: 
06.03
Category: 
State and Legislative Issues
Status: 
Completed

Whereas, What is known as the “50% Law” is a reference to California Education Code §84362(d), which states that “There shall be expended during each fiscal year for payment of salaries of classroom instructors by a community college district, 50 percent of the district's current expense of education”;


Whereas, At the Fall 2009 Plenary Session numerous resolutions seeking to modify the 50% law were proposed, prompted lively debate, and were ultimately “Referred to the Executive Committee to research the data, craft a new resolution that considers the ideas included in all of the referred resolutions and our previous position in Resolution 8.04 S01, and bring back to the Spring 2010 Plenary Session”;


Whereas, While the 50% law is often cited as a disincentive to the hiring of faculty who provide vital support services for students, such as counseling and library faculty, a change in the 50% law calculation to a percentage that includes all faculty would not remove the existing disincentives associated with the hiring of instructional support and student services faculty; and


Whereas, Adopted Academic Senate documents have identified a specific recommended ratio for counseling faculty to students that represents effective practices, but the principles are not being practiced by most community colleges, and Resolution 8.04 S01 directs the Academic Senate to work to “amend California Education Code §84362(d) such that the minimum percentage of any district's apportionment spent on classroom, library, and counseling faculty salaries increases from the present standard of 50% to a percentage that is commensurate with the inclusion of counseling and library faculty members”;


Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges recommend that the 50% law be left unchanged until such time as a more appropriate percentage that seeks to accomplish the goals delineated in past resolutions can be identified and appropriately justified; and


Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges explore and potentially advocate for Title 5 changes that integrate minimum faculty to student ratios for counseling, library, and other instructional and student support faculty.


MSC Disposition: Local Senates

Status Report: 

Recommend that the 50% law be left unchanged until such time as a more appropriate percentage that seeks to accomplish the goals delineated in past resolutions can be identified and appropriately justified; explore and potentially advocate for Title 5 changes that integrate minimum faculty to student ratios for counseling, library, and other instructional and student support faculty.