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Judge Rules in Favor of City College of San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — An accrediting commission must give City College of San Francisco — one of California’s largest community colleges — a chance to respond to criticism before deciding whether to stick to its decision to revoke the school’s accreditation, a judge said Friday.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow issued the tentative ruling in a lawsuit by San Francisco’s city attorney against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The commission decided in July 2013 to revoke City College of San Francisco’s accreditation a year later over concerns about the school’s financial management and governance.

Losing accreditation would likely force the college to close because unaccredited schools are ineligible for state and federal funding. Karnow blocked the revocation temporarily, and the commission earlier this month agreed to grant City College a two-year extension to meet commission standards.

In the lawsuit, City Attorney Dennis Herrera sought to have the commission’s decision thrown out. Calls to a spokesman for Herrera and the commission were not immediately returned.

“City College was deprived of an opportunity to respond in writing to findings of deficiencies in 2013, and to prepare for a hearing on those same deficiencies,” Karnow wrote in his ruling. “We do not know if the Commissioners would have exercised their discretion differently had City College been given an opportunity to address the additional findings in writing.”

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