District Court Approves Settlement of Faculty Union Lawsuit Against Accrediting Agency

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has approved the settlement of a lawsuit brought by the California Federation of Teachers and four of its affiliated local unions against the Accrediting Commission for Community & Junior Colleges (ACCJC).

The lawsuit, AFT Local 2121 v. Accrediting Commission for Community & Junior Colleges, stemmed from ACCJC’s 2013 decision to terminate the accreditation of City College of San Francisco, and challenged ACCJC’s City College decision and many of its accreditation practices as arbitrary and intrusive into the faculty unions’ collective bargaining relationships with California community colleges.  In January 2017, ACCJC restored City College to full accreditation status.  The settlement includes policy and standards changes – some of which ACCJC began to implement while the litigation was ongoing – which will increase ACCJC’s transparency and accountability, and avoid interference with the unions’ collective bargaining relationships.

Altshuler Berzon LLP, together with co-counsel, represented the California Federation of Teachers, the local unions, and five individual plaintiffs in the federal court litigation.