SAN FRANCISCO – Fil-Ams at the West Bay Pilipino Multi-Use Center say they are happy to hear that the San Francisco supervisors voted to make City College of San Francisco tuition-free, making it the first city in the nation to do so.
Jerold Yu said, “There’s a lot of low income families that live in the neighborhood and something even like City College can be unaffordable for them and I think everyone has a right to an education.”
On Tuesday, the resolution passed with a 10-1 favor to make City College free to residents and city workers.
Supervisor Jane Kim, who introduced the resolution in April, said, “City College is one of the last affordable opportunities in our region to obtain the education that is absolutely critical to allow for upwards job mobility,” according to an online article from KRON4.
To help cover the cost Kim proposed the mansion tax, which would raise the transfer tax on all property sales valued at more than $5 million.
Meanwhile West Bay students and their parents say that going to college will give them a greater chance to have a meaningful future.
Student Michelangelo Ruiz said, “Money is a real problem for my family and I know for a lot of people and now if City College is free I’ll most likely go there and try to go to a different college after.”
Parent Joyce Diloy adds, “If you go to City College where there’s a lot of options that’s free, that you can take a look at then you’re more apt to getting a job or choosing a career that’s more meaningful that you can succeed in.”
The West Bay group also believes the move would help reduce the high school dropout rates in the Filipino community because it puts college education within everyone’s reach.
“According to the API Counsel, Filipinos have the highest high school dropout rates among Asian-Americans here in San Francisco,” said West Bay Executive Director Vivian Zalvidea Araullo. “So our high school dropout rate is more than half the city average of 7%. So our youth about 3.7% of our high school youth are dropping out. This is alarming however this is very important to note that this breaks the model minority myth. Just because we’re Asian doesn’t mean we’re all successful, we’re all wealthy. No, this statistic points to a reality in our community.”
The final step before free City College becomes a reality will come down to the voters during the November elections.