October, 2017

Governor Takes Action on Community College Bills

In the first year of the 2017-18 session, members of the Legislature considered 2,980 bills. Approximately 56% of those bills were held in either house and 1,307 were sent to the Governor for consideration. Governor Brown vetoed 9% of bills that reached his desk. League staff engaged in over 120 bills on behalf of community colleges throughout the legislative session.

By October 13, the Governor Brown had taken action on many significant education bills, including AB 19 (Santiago), AB 705 (Irwin), and a package of legislation aimed at protecting California’s undocumented and immigrant populations. This package included the controversial Senate Bill (SB) 54 or “sanctuary state” bill. Governor Brown took final action on bills affecting community colleges on Sunday, October 15. His final actions included vetoes of notable bills, including SB 169 (Jackson, D-Santa Barbara) which had extensive support from thirty members of California’s Congressional delegation. This bill was a response to the Trump Administration’s announcement that it plans to withdraw the federal guidance issued by former President Obama in 2011 in response to sexual assault on college campuses.

Below are summaries of the bills vetoed by Governor Brown.

SB 169 (Jackson) Title IX: This bill would have required higher education institutions to adopt rules and procedures for the prevention of sexual violence, and adopt grievance and investigation procedures to resolve complaints of sexual violence.
Status: Vetoed

AB 17 (Holden) Transit Passes: This bill would have created pilot program to provide transit passes to students.
Status: Vetoed

AB 568 (Gonzalez-Fletcher) School and community college employees: Paid Maternity Leave. The bill would have required the governing board of a community college district to provide at least 6 weeks of a leave of absence with full pay for a certificated employee, or an academic employee because of pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, and recovery therefrom.
Status: Vetoed

Governor Brown signed a total of 20 bills tracked by the League. Bills signed by the Governor range from topics addressing course placement reform, support for foster youth, promise programs, and equity. Click here for the 2017 summary of all chaptered bills that impact community colleges.

 

Below are summaries of the bills signed by Governor Brown.

AB 19 (Santiago D)  Community colleges: California College Promise.
Status: Approved by the Governor. Chapter 735, Statutes of 2017.
Position: Watch

CCLC Analysis: This bill Establishes, under the administration of the California Community Colleges (CCC) Chancellor, the California College Promise. This bill creates a new program which could allow colleges to waive fees for full time students in their first academic year as long as the college does all of the following:

  1. Establish an Early Commitment to College program.
  2. Partner with high schools to improve high school student preparation and reducing the need for college-level remediation .
  3. Utilize assessment and placement that include multiple measures.
  4. Participate in the Guided Pathways Grant Program.
  5. Maximize student’s need-based financial aid by leveraging the California Promise Grant (formerly the BOG fee waiver) and completion of the FAFSA (or CA Dream Act Application).
  6. College participates in the federal student loan program.

AB 20 (Kalra D) Public employee retirement systems: divestment: Dakota Access Pipeline.
Status: Approved by the Governor. Chapter 575, Statutes of 2017.
Position: Watch

CCLC Analysis: This bill requires the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) and California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) to report to the Legislature and the Governor, on or before April 1, 2018, information regarding investments in, and engagement with, companies constructing or funding the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The bill states the legislature’s intent that CalSTRS and CalPERS review and consider factors related to tribal sovereignty and indigenous tribal rights as part of their respective investment policies related to environmental, social and governance issues.

AB 21(Kalra D) Public postsecondary education: Access to Higher Education for Every Student.
Status: Approved by the Governor. Chapter 488, Statutes of 2017.
Position: Support

CCLC Analysis: The statute requires the California State University (CSU), California Community Colleges (CCC) and each Cal Grant eligible independent institution of higher education and requests the University of California (UC), to establish various policies and actions that safeguard against immigration enforcement activities on campuses.

AB 504 (Medina D) Community colleges: Student Success and Support Program funding.
Status: Approved by the Governor. Chapter 742, Statutes of 2017.
Position: Support

CCLC Analysis: This statute modifies the current criteria for the development of student equity plans by requiring the CCC Chancellor to establish a standard methodology for measurement of student equity.

AB 618 (Low D) Local Agency Public Construction Act: job order contracting: school districts: community college districts.
Status: Approved by the Governor. Chapter 296, Statutes of 2017.
Position: Support

CCLC Analysis: This bill authorizes community college districts to enter into job order contracts (JOC), an alternative construction contracting agreement currently available to school districts, until January 1, 2022. Restricts job order contracting to districts that have entered into project labor agreement(s) (PLA) that will apply to all public works in excess of $25,000 undertaken by the district through at least December 31, 2021, regardless of what contracting procedure is used to award that work. The statute excludes an architect, engineer, consultant, or contractor retained to assist a school district or community college district in the development of JOC documents from bidding, or participating in the preparation of a bid, with any job order contractor.

AB 637 (Medina D) Community colleges: cross-enrollment in online education.
Status: Approved by the Governor. Chapter 743, Statutes of 2017.
Position: Support

CCLC Analysis: Authorizes a California Community College (CCC) student who meets specified requirements to enroll in an online course provided by another CCC (referred to as a teaching college) through the Online Education Initiative (OEI) Consortium; and authorizes a participating community college district to accept the determination of a student's residency classification under certain conditions.

AB 705 (Irwin D) Seymour-Campbell Student Success Act of 2012: matriculation: assessment.
Status: Approved by the Governor. Chapter 745, Statutes of 2017.
Position: Support

CCLC Analysis: Requires community college districts (CCD) to maximize the probability that a student will enter and complete coursework in math and English within a one-year timeframe by utilizing multiple measures to achieve this goal. The bill established that no district or college may use any assessment instrument without the authorization of the Board of Governors. A district or college shall not require students to enroll in remedial English or mathematics coursework that lengthens their time to complete a degree unless placement research that includes consideration of high school grade point average and coursework shows that those students are highly unlikely to succeed in transfer-level coursework in English and mathematics.

AB 1018 (Reyes D) Community colleges: student equity plans.
Status: Approved by the Governor. Chapter 751, Statutes of 2017.
Position: Support

CCLC Analysis: Requires the governing board of each California Community Colleges (CCC) district (CCD) to add homeless students and lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) students to the categories of students required to be addressed in their student equity plans. The bill authorizes the governing board of each community college district to determine other additional categories of students to be addressed in their student equity plans. Further, the bill require the CCC Chancellor's Office (CCCCO) to make data (of the various student categories) available to community college districts in order to determine student equity and disproportionate impact.

AB 1567 (Holden D) Public postsecondary education: California State University: California Community Colleges: foster youth: Higher Education Outreach and Assistance Act for Foster Youth.
Status: 10/13/2017-Approved by the Governor. Chaptered by Secretary of State - Chapter 763, Statutes of 2017.
Position: Support

CCLC Analysis: Require CDSS and county welfare departs, in coordination with CSU and CCC, to coordinate with staff of the CSU Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), the CCC Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), or Cooperating Agencies Foster Youth Educational Support (CAFYES), as appropriate, to verify eligibility of foster youth for participation in programs and other benefits.

AB 1651 (Reyes D) Community colleges: academic employees: involuntary administrative leave.
Status: 10/13/2017-Approved by the Governor. Chaptered by Secretary of State - Chapter 765, Statutes of 2017.
Position: Watch

CCLC Analysis: This bill would: a) Require colleges to provide the general reason why an employee has been placed on administrative leave, and b) State that all investigations regarding employee misconduct should conclude within 90 days if that employee is placed on administrative leave.

HR 66 (Gipson D) Relative to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Status: 9/13/2017-Coauthors revised. Read. Adopted.

CCLC Analysis: Assembly resolution that urges President Trump and Congress to codify elements of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program into federal law and a path to citizenship for that population.

SB 12 (Beall D) Foster youth: postsecondary education: financial aid assistance.
Status: 10/12/2017-Approved by the Governor. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 722, Statutes of 2017.

Requires the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to work with the California Department of Social Services (DSS) to develop an automated system to verify a student’s status as a foster youth for the purposes of processing applications for state or federal financial aid; (2) expands the Cooperating Agencies Foster Youth Educational Support (CAFYES) Program from up to 10 community college districts to 20 community college districts; and, (3) requires the county child welfare case plan, for a youth who is at least 16 years of age, to identify the person who is to be responsible for assisting the youth with applications for postsecondary education and related financial aid.

SB 54 (De León D) Law enforcement: sharing data.
Status: 10/5/2017-Approved by the Governor. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 495, Statutes of 2017.

CCLC Analysis: The bill would require, by October 1, 2018, the Attorney General, in consultation with the appropriate stakeholders, to publish model policies limiting assistance with immigration enforcement to the fullest extent possible for use by public schools, public libraries, health facilities operated by the state or a political subdivision of the state, and courthouses, among others. It would then require, among others, all public schools, health facilities operated by the state or a political subdivision of the state, and courthouses to implement the model policy, or an equivalent policy.

SB 68 (Lara D) Public postsecondary education: exemption from nonresident tuition.
Status: Approved by the Governor. Chapter 496, Statutes of 2017.
Position: Support

CCLC Analysis: This bill expands eligibility for the exemption from paying nonresident tuition at California’s public postsecondary institutions established under the provisions of AB 540 (Firebaugh, Chapter 814, Statutes of 2001) to students who have completed three or more years of attendance or earned credits equivalent to three or more years of full-time credits at an elementary school, secondary school, adult school and/or California Community College (CCC).

 Frequently Asked Questions: AB 19 (California College Promise)

On Sunday, October 15, Governor Brown completed his actions on key bills impacting California’s community colleges.  One bill that has received extensive attention from both the media and college administrators is AB 19 (Chapter 735, Statutes of 2017) by Assembly Member Santiago.  The League is providing the following set of frequently asked questions (FAQ) based on our internal analysis of the bill and conversations with experts in the field.

FAQs About AB 19

 

Q: What does AB 19, the California College Promise bill, do?

A: The bill establishes a new an unfunded categorical program called the California College Promise program. The intent of the author and sponsors is that the Legislature will appropriate money to the system in an amount sufficient to waive fees for all full-time (12 units plus) first-time students (regardless of student financial need) for one academic year.

Q: Does AB 19 establish free community college for all full-time first-time students?

A: No. The bill/program may do that in the future, with funding and with additional statutory changes, but it’s not what the bill does now.

Q: Is there funding associated with AB 19, the California College Promise categorical program?

A: There is no money allocated in the 2017-18 Budget Act for this measure. The Governor may consider including funding for the program in the 2018-19 budget, thus the earliest funding could potentially be available to colleges/districts is fall 2018.

Q: If the Program is funded in the 2018-19 Budget, must a college/district use the money to waive fees for first time, full-time student?

A: Colleges may use the money receive under this new categorical program to waive some or all of the fees for new first-time full-time who otherwise are not eligible for the BOG fee waiver. However, the language in AB 19 is permissive, so a college/district could also use the money to partially offset fees and then use the remainder to provide additional assistance to students with financial need.

Q: What is required of colleges/district to establish a California College Promise program under AB 19?

A: To be eligible for any potential future monies, a college/district must take all of the following six actions:

  1. Partner with K-12 to establish an Early Commitment to College program to provide K-12 students and families with information about college (e.g., campus visits, college-going initiatives, financial aid awareness, etc.)
  2. Partner with high schools to support and improve high school student preparation and reducing the need for college-level remediation (e.g., small learning communities, concurrent enrollment, other evidence-based practices)
  3. Utilize evidence-based assessment and placement that include multiple measures* (e.g., overall GPA, high school GPA, other evidence-based practices to improve outcomes for underprepared students) (*AB 705 will take effect on January 1, 2018, requiring colleges to maximize the probability that a student will enter and complete coursework in math and English within a one-year timeframe.)
  4. Participate in the Guided Pathways Grant Program to ensure students have access-to and entry-into clear academic pathways.
  5. Maximize student’s need-based financial aid by leveraging the California Promise Grant (formerly the BOG fee waiver) and ensuring student complete the FAFSA (or CA Dream Act Application).
  6. Ensuring that your college participates in the federal student loan program.

Q: How will colleges/districts received monies appropriated through AB 19?

A: If funding is allocated to the California College Promise categorical program the CCCCO will then take any monies appropriated for this program and craft a formula to distribute the funds to all eligible colleges.  Colleges that satisfy all six requirements will be eligible for the funds (as a categorical program, participation is open to all colleges regardless of their basic aid/community-supported status).

Q: Can a college/district use any future resources provided by the California College Promise categorical program to cover other college costs, such as textbooks, of students with financial need?

A: AB 19, the California College Promise, is permissive so a college/districts may use the funds to cover non-tuition expenses as long as a college/district is meeting the six criteria established in the bill. The bill does not dictate how the funds must be spent, but does emphasize that funds must be spent to further the goals in the bill.    

Q: What are the goals stated in AB 19, the California College Promise?

A: There are four goals stated in the bill:

  1. Increase the number (and %) of HS students who attend college directly and are placed in transfer-level math and English courses;
  2. Increase the percentage of students who earn associate degree or CTE certificates and increase the percentage of students who report being employed in their field of study;
  3. Increase percent of students who successfully transfer to UC or CSU and graduate with a bachelor’s degree; and
  4. Reduce/eliminate underrepresented student achievement gaps and regional achievement gaps.

 Federal Grant Opportunities

The League in partnership with Downs Government Affairs present the following federal grant opportunities for districts and colleges:

Advancing Informal STEM Learning
Agency: National Science Foundation
Estimated Total Program Funding: $44,000,000
Maximum Grant Award: $3,000,000
Closing Date for Applications: November 6, 2017

Program Description: NSF’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program seeks to advance new approaches to and evidence-based understanding of the design and development of STEM learning opportunities for the public in informal environments; provide multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences; advance innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments; and engage the public of all ages in learning STEM in informal environments. AISL supports six types of projects: (1) Pilots and Feasibility Studies; (2) Research in Service to Practice; (3) Innovations in Development; (4) Broad Implementation; (5) Literature Reviews, Syntheses, or Meta-Analyses; and (6) Conferences.

Link to grants.gov: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=295308

Leading Engineering for America's Prosperity, Health, and Infrastructure (LEAP HI)
Agency: National Science Foundation
Maximum Grant Award: $7,500,000
Closing Date for Applications: February 20, 2018

Program Description: The LEAP HI program challenges the engineering research community to take a leadership role in addressing demanding, urgent, and consequential challenges for advancing prosperity, health and infrastructure. LEAP HI proposals confront engineering problems that are too complex to yield to the efforts of a single investigator – problems that require sustained and coordinated effort from interdisciplinary research teams, with goals that are not achievable through a series of smaller, short-term projects. LEAP HI projects perform fundamental research that may lead to disruptive technologies and methods, lay the foundation for new and strengthened industries, enable notable improvements in quality of life, or reimagine and revitalize the built environment. LEAP HI supports fundamental research projects involving collaborating investigators, of duration up to five years, with total budget between $1 million and $2 million. LEAP HI proposals must articulate a fundamental research problem with compelling intellectual challenge and significant societal impact, particularly on economic competitiveness, quality of life, public health, or essential infrastructure. One or more CMMI core topics must lie at the heart of the proposal, and integration of disciplinary expertise not typically engaged in CMMI-funded projects is encouraged. LEAP HI proposals must highlight engineering research in a leadership role. LEAP HI proposals must demonstrate the need for a sustained research effort by an integrated, interdisciplinary team, and should include a research integration plan and timeline for research activities, with convincing mechanisms for frequent and effective communication.

Link to grants.gov: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=297735