The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges put City College of San Francisco on notice Tuesday that it has eight months to address 14 serious management and fiscal problems or be decertified.
Schools must be accredited to receive public funding. In June, school trustees approved a $187 million 2012-13 budget to serve the school's more than 90,000 students. About $97 million of that amount comes from the state and would be withdrawn if the school lost accreditation. If the governor's tax measure fails in November, the school could be out another $10 million. Trustees also voted to place a $79 per parcel tax on the city's November ballot, but even if approved, those funds would not be available this year. City College will not pass a final budget until September.
For now, the school must prove to the commission by Oct. 15 that it should retain its accreditation. Then commission representatives will visit the school to monitor progress.
"Since the loss of accreditation would likely cause San Francisco City College to close, during the 'show cause' period the College must make preparations for closure," said Barbara Beno, the commission president in a letter to City College of San Francisco Interim Chancellor Pamela Fisher.
While the college has seen reduced funding in recent years, Beno said all schools in the state have faced similar problems, yet only two of the state's 112 community colleges are in similar situations: College of the Redwoods in Eureka and Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. Compton College closed in 2005 after it lost accreditation.