Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Commitment to the California College Promise Continues
The League is pleased to share with you legislative news that advances the California College Promise and our goal of removing financial barriers to college. Yesterday, the Assembly Higher Education Committee passed our sponsored legislation to reform the Cal Grant program. Both bills - AB 1721 (Medina) and AB 1892 (Medina) - would increase financial aid resources for our students, allowing them to complete college and contribute to the success of the state’s economy.

This effort is not yet over. Now it is time to make our case to the Assembly Appropriations Committee to invest in California’s future by reducing time to degree and increasing tax revenue. We simply cannot do this without your help! Therefore, we encourage you to download the following draft letters of support and fax them to the committee, the Department of Finance, and your legislator (and please also e-mail a copy to the League at ryan@ccleague.org).

Let’s continue our advocacy to support student success and affordability. Community college students comprise two-thirds of the state’s undergraduates, yet only receive six percent of Cal Grant funding. Attending a community college should not be more expensive for financially disadvantaged students than studying at a CSU or UC institution. The time has come to invest equitably in the Cal Grant program.

AB 1721 (Medina) would raise Cal Grant aid for our students by:

  • Increasing the Cal Grant B Access award to $3,000.
  • Increasing the number of competitive Cal Grants to 30,000.
  • Improving the qualification process for non-traditional students accessing the Cal Grant transfer entitlement program.

Similarly, AB 1892 (Medina) makes targeted Cal Grant reforms to help community college students in a career technical education (CTE) program complete their degrees. It would:

  • Increase the Cal Grant C Access Award for community college students to $3,000.
  • Create an entitlement program for Cal Grant C, similar to Cal Grant B.

We would like to thank everyone for their advocacy efforts, and especially the districts listed below who sent in letters of support to the Assembly Higher Education Committee. Our commitment to the California College Promise will only be successful if districts demonstrate support for the system priority of increasing financial aid and reforming Cal Grants.
Chabot-Las Positas Community College District
Foothill-De Anza Community College District
Kern Community College District
Los Angeles Community College District
Los Rios Community College District
Peralta Community College District
San Diego Community College District
Santa Barbara Community College District
Santa Monica Community College District
South Orange Community College District
Ventura Community College District Board of Trustees

If you have any questions about supporting AB 1721 (Medina) and AB 1892 (Medina), please contact Ryan McElhinney, Legislative Advocate, at ryan@ccleague.org.