In This Issue:
- 2018 End of Session Summary
- Affordability: Finding Real Solutions to Real Challenges
- Legislative Conference Keynote to Address California’s Emergence as a Bellwether State
- Federal Grant Opportunities – Presented by Downs Government Affairs
- Upcoming Events
2018 End of Session Summary
In the second year of the 2017-18 session, members of the Legislature considered 2,637 bills. A total of 234 bills making changes to the Education Code were approved by the Legislature. During the 2018 session, 1,564 bills were sent to the Governor for consideration. Governor Brown signed 1,363 bill and vetoed 201, or just over 13% of bill that reached his desk. League staff tracked 93 bills during the 2018 legislative session.
The League’s End of Session Summary provides a summary of key bills with an impact on community colleges that were signed by Governor Brown and have been chaptered into law. Most bills take effect on January 1, 2019. A total of 20 bills tracked by the League were signed.
Affordability: Finding Real Solutions to Real Challenges
College leaders and supporters are facing a sobering reality - in recent years, about 40% of community college students stated they had very low food access and security, and 25% of students experienced homelessness. Students cannot be expected to achieve academic success or personal wellness until they meet their basic needs. Supporting food and housing security on campus is not an easy undertaking but community college leaders are passionate that it’s the right thing to do. Two complementary efforts have formed within the League to tackle these complex yet critical issues: The Affordability, Food and Housing Access Taskforce, and the Financial Aid Implementation Committee.
Basic needs insecurity has emerged as a risk to the state’s future success and the well-being of Californians. Rising rent prices place housing out of reach for many—leading in some cases to homelessness. According to PPIC Statewide Surveys (May and September 2017), 47 percent of Californians— including 61 percent of renters—say housing costs are a financial strain on themselves and their families. For community college students, the impact is exacerbated by the fact that 43% of the cost of being a CCC student is housing and 30% of students are solely responsible for their housing costs (Restmeyer, 2018). Recent reports also indicate that food insecure students, in particular, were more likely to indicate intention to drop out, and were much less likely to feel confident in their academic abilities. And while over over 60% of California Community College students attend tuition-free thanks to the California College Promise Grant (formerly known as the BOG Fee Waiver), cost of living expenses are not covered and existing Cal Grant aid for community college students covers a third of the total true cost of attendance, and relatively few students actually receive the Cal Grant.
With input and collaboration from colleges and community stakeholders, the Affordability, Food and Housing Access Taskforce seeks to assist community colleges in helping students meet their basic needs by removing legal barriers and red tape, specifically in areas such as qualifying as CalFresh approved vendors. Districts and colleges have the potential to create more sustainable and effective partnerships to address students’ food and housing access challenges. With a mantra of Real Solutions to Real Challenges, the Taskforce has discussed three key opportunities for campuses to address students’ basic needs security:
- Reduce barriers that prevent students from connecting to resources
- Cultivate a campus-wide referral network
- Explore sustainable funding and staffing models that can scale to meet students’ growing demand for basic needs support services
As our students continue to face growing food and housing insecurity and greater emphasis is placed on successfully serving low income students, college leaders also decided it was important to take a second look at the functions and operational opportunities within financial aid offices. This became the impetus to forming the Financial Aid Implementation Committee, a group with collaborative leadership from Trustees and financial aid administrators. Its goal is to maximize the amount of aid students receive by effectively guiding students through the complicated financial aid application process. By shifting to over-compliance with federal regulations, colleges have the opportunity to identify strategies that enable our low income students to obtain much needed financial aid.
A key advantage to the efforts of both groups is identifying the innovative and promising practices already occurring at colleges throughout the state. The League invites you to share your district/college’s practice on the Affordability, Food & Housing Access Taskforce webpage.
We know this can only be addressed in partnerships. Engage in the conversation and be part of the solutions. Join us at the Real #114 Conference on December 7th at Compton College.
Real #114 Housing & Food Insecurities
December 7, 2018
Legislative Conference Keynote to Address California’s Emergence as a Bellwether State
Just a few decades ago, California confronted many of the challenges the country now faces. How did the Golden State emerge from its past of social strife to become a bellwether for the rest of the country? Join us at the 2019 Annual Legislative Conference with keynote speaker and award-winning sociologist Dr. Manuel Pastor. Dr. Pastor will guide us through an improved California, with lessons that the rest of the nation should note. He shared highlights and research that led to his new book, State of Resistance, which makes the case for honestly engaging racial anxiety in order to address our true economic and generational challenges, renewing our commitment to public investments, cultivating social movements and community organizing, and more.
Dr. Manuel Pastor is a professor of sociology and American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where he also serves as director of the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity and as co-director of USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. Dr. Pastor has received Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships as well as the 2012 Wally Marks Changemaker of the Year award from the Liberty Hill Foundation and is author of State of Resistance: What California’s Dizzying Descent and Remarkable Resurgence Mean for America’s Future (The New Press). He currently holds the Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change at USC.
Annual Legislative Conference
Sunday Keynote Address
January 27, 2019
Sheraton Grand, Sacramento
For Annual Legislative Conference details and rates, visit the event page.
Federal Grant Opportunities
Presented by Downs Government Affairs
The League, in partnership with Downs Government Affairs, provides a list of federal grants to assist your community college in improving its programs and services. If you have any questions about the following grants, please feel free to reach out to Thomas Downs at TCDowns@downsgovaffairs.com.
For a full list of federal grants available to community colleges, visit our Federal Grants page at: www.ccleague.org/federal-grant-opportunites
2018 League Annual Convention
November 15-17 | Rancho Mirage, CA
November 14 | Rancho Mirage, CA
Real #114 Conference
December 7, 2018 | Compton College, CA
2019 Legislative Conference
January 27-28 | Sacramento, CA
For more information, contact the League's Government Relations and Communications staff:
Lizette Navarette, Vice President | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan McElhinney, Legislative Advocate | email@example.com
Laura Murrell, Communications Manager | firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerson Light-Sanchez, Government Relations & Communications Fellow | email@example.com