[caption id="attachment_46257" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Such a dual program appears to be a first for a public institution, but some experts have questioned the legality and equity of the plan."][/caption]

Faced with deep funding cuts and strong student demand, Santa Monica College in California is pursuing a plan to offer a selection of higher-cost classes to students who need them, provoking protests from some who question the fairness of such a two-tiered education system.

Under the plan, approved by the governing board and believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, the...

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