SANTA MONICA (CBS) — A proposal that would have charged higher tuition for in-demand courses at Santa Monica College is illegal, the state attorney general’s office said Wednesday.

While the college abandoned the plan earlier this month, officials had considered a two-tiered scale that would charge $180 per unit for high-demand classes, compared with the usual unit price of $46 subsidized by the state.

Santa Monica College trustees had voted back on April 6 to postpone implementing the two-tiered fee scale after several students were pepper-sprayed during campus protests.

The attorney general’s office said requiring students to pay the full cost of classes is not allowed under the California Education Code.

A severe budget shortfall in Sacramento has forced Santa Monica College to cut thousands of courses over the past few years as over $800 million was slashed from community college budgets throughout the state.