May 26, 2022

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Newsom signs bill saving UC Berkeley from enrollment cuts this fall

Picture: Alison Yin/EdSource

UC Berkeley students on campus.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Monday built to save the University of California Berkeley from needing to minimize in-person enrollment by hundreds of college students this drop.

Newsom and lawmakers say that Senate Monthly bill 118, which was permitted unanimously earlier Monday by both of those chambers of California’s Legislature, will basically offset a court get for Berkeley to lessen its in-man or woman university student inhabitants this fall to 2020-21 amounts, when the campus enrolled about 2,600 less college students than it currently does.

The bill provides California’s community schools and universities 18 months to comprehensive an environmental evaluation before a courtroom can cap a college’s on-campus populace at a sure amount. Newsom and lawmakers say the bill will be retroactively utilized to Berkeley and allow for the campus to enroll the exact selection of college students it experienced prepared to before the lawsuit — even though the team that brought the first lawsuit signaled Monday that it might provide more litigation around the new regulation.

“I’m grateful to the Legislature for going quickly on this vital issue — it sends a distinct signal that California will not enable lawsuits get in the way of the education and goals of 1000’s of pupils, our upcoming leaders and innovators,” Newsom said in a statement Monday.

Newsom and lawmakers acted speedily just after the California Supreme Court docket earlier this thirty day period upheld a lessen courtroom purchase demanding Berkeley to freeze its enrollment at 2020-21 concentrations. The court conclusion came following a group referred to as Conserving Berkeley’s Neighborhoods sued UC previous 12 months. The team, citing the California Environmental Quality Act, has argued that Berkeley has unsuccessful to properly analyze the impression its developing enrollment has on concerns like housing and sounds.

Prior to Monday, Berkeley officers reported they planned to comply with the court docket get by asking some students to enroll on line and others to defer their enrollment till January 2023. Before coming up with that solution, officers originally mentioned they would offer you admission to 5,000 much less incoming college students than they experienced initially planned to acknowledge. The campus have to mail out admissions selections to incoming freshmen this month.

In a statement Monday following the votes by California’s Legislature, UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ stated hundreds of learners would advantage from the legislation.

“At Berkeley we are, and will stay, committed to continuing our attempts to deal with a pupil housing crisis via new building of underneath current market housing. We look forward to working in shut, constructive collaboration with our partners in Sacramento in purchase to advance our shared interest in supplying California learners with an remarkable working experience and education and learning,” Christ included.

Phil Bokovoy, president of Saving Berkeley’s Neighborhoods, termed the legislation a “poorly drafted bill” and said he anticipates that it “will consequence in extra litigation.”

“This misguided monthly bill presents the UC a exceptional free of charge go to keep away from examining impacts involved with its own enrollment decisions specifically impacting populace density on campus and in the bordering communities,” he additional.

Assemblymember Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, chair of the Assembly’s spending plan committee, agreed Monday that Berkeley’s enrollment setting up has been problematic. He said all through the Assembly’s ground session that Berkeley has not adequately projected its enrollment progress. But he added that it shouldn’t be likely UC college students who spend the cost for all those errors.

“I do not imagine 5,000 pupils ought to definitely pay out the selling price for poor bureaucratic selections,” he reported.

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