Struggling California District on Probation

February 3, 2020

After years of struggle, the Peralta Community College District in California is being placed on probation.

The district, which includes four colleges in the East Bay area serving about 50,000 students, is facing the severe sanction from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges after struggling to address ongoing financial issues, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

The district's accreditors told the new chancellor, Regina Stanback Stroud, that the district had failed to address ongoing financial problems, including a structural deficit, lack of adherence to policies, poor financial controls and growing pension obligations, according to the Chronicle.

Stanback Stroud told the Chronicle that probation is in the middle of three possible sanctions from an accreditor. The district has until Nov. 1 to fix the issues or face tougher sanctions.

A previous report from the state's Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team had 75 recommendations for changes to the district, and it scored the district's fiscal health risk at nearly 70 percent (a score of 40 percent or higher indicates high financial risk).

In response, Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor of California's community college system, appointed a fiscal monitor to attend board meetings of the district.

Former faculty and Frances White, the district's interim chancellor before Stanback Stroud, described a culture of mismanagement and ignoring problems to Inside Higher Ed in September.

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