The San Diego Community College District Board of Trustees will have a new face representing the district come Dec. 13.Bernie Rhinerson, former chief of staff and district relations for the San Diego Unified School District, garnered 46.3 percent of the vote in the Nov. 6 election for a total of 15,601 votes.District Chancellor Constance Carroll and other current members of the board were pleased with Rhinerson being elected, as well as the passing of Prop. 30, according to a district report.”Proposition 30 will begin to make new revenue available to public education so that we can begin to restore the cuts that have been made in recent years,” Rhinerson told City Times in an email. ”We need to continue to be actively involved with our Sacramento representatives and continue to pressure the governor to make education funding a top priority in next year’s budget and in subsequent years so that the promise of Prop. 30 are realized,” Rhinerson added about plans for his first year in office.Jim Mahler, president of local AFT Guild 1931, which represents district employees, had expressed concern to City Times before the election that faculty and students’ needs might suffer if Rhinerson was not elected.”I’m extremely happy that Bernie Rhinerson, an experienced educator, won the seat. He will best serve our students,” Mahler said after the election results were announced.City President Terrence Burgess echoed Mahler’s sentiment, saying, “I’m delighted that he was elected. I’ve always had a great admiration and respect for him.”The district has been hopeful in emails to students and press releases about how the passing of Prop. 30 would help community college students. Prop. 30 will reinstate “approximately 150 classes” on all campuses within the district, according to Rhinerson.Burgess confirmed those figures, stating that around 40 classes, or about one-quarter of the classes being reinstated district wide, would be reinstated at City.Scott Hasson, who came in second place to Rhinerson for the trustee position, was not so enthusiastic regarding Prop. 30. “I think the passing of Prop 30 will be a band-aid to the bigger issues.
We don’t have revenues to keep up with spending,” he told City Times in an email.Rhinerson will be inaugurated to the board in a “Hail and Farewell” ceremony Dec. 13, along with incumbent board member Mary Graham and retiring trustee Bill Schwandt, whose seat Rhinerson is filling, following their board meeting at USD.Rhinerson, who holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in public administration from San Diego State, is a supporter of the Student Success Act, Senate Bill 1456, which Gov. Brown signed this past September. “To increase completion rates, I support the recommendations
of the student task force, which Chancellor Dr. Constance Carroll participated in,” Rhinerson was quoted as saying by Michael Higham on the Interactive Video Network. “These recommendations would make substantive
changes to student assessments, registration policies and other policies that
will help students make progress on their educational plans and help move them
toward a degree and skills certifications.” The Student Success Act, as defined by Santa Monica College’s faculty blog, is a “Twenty-two point blueprint on how to move students more expeditiously through their community college experience.”