February, 2019

In This Issue:

  • New Advocacy Materials
  • Update on League Sponsored Legislation
  • Impact of Revised Term Limits on Legislative Priorities
  • Senator Alexander Emphasizes Higher Education Act Reauthorization as Priority
  • National Legislative Summit: California Delegation Breakfast and Reception
  • Federal Grant Opportunities – Presented by Downs Government Affairs
  • Upcoming Events

New Advocacy Materials

With the start of the 2019–2020 legislative session, the Community College League of California (League) is pleased to provide various advocacy materials that will support you and your college in advocacy for the students you serve.  They are intended to provide key statewide data and statistics about our system, general policy positions on state and federal issues, and specific fact sheets about League sponsored legislation. Please see below for the following:

Fast Facts: Every year the League publishes Fast Facts, which provides statewide statistics detailing the demographics and composition of the students our system serves, funding comparisons, types of degrees conferred, and other important information. 

State and Federal Policy Principles: Both the California Community College Trustees and the Chief Executive Officers of California’s Community Colleges have approved policy platforms with state and federal priorities. Our colleges are strongly encouraged to utilize these documents during their visits with representatives both in Sacramento and in Washington, DC.  To download the documents please click below:

Sponsored Legislation: The League is excited to sponsor pieces of legislation this year that will make offering dual enrollment easier for your institutions and help colleges accept CalFresh at campus restaurants. To help advocate for these bills, the League has created the below fact sheets:

Update on League Sponsored Legislation

The League will be sponsoring legislation to support student success and affordability. These pieces of legislation streamline overly bureaucratic and administratively burdensome procedures. The League believes the result of these bills will lead to an increase in student success, access and equity.  Please see below for a brief update on the League’s sponsored legislation:

AB 30 (Holden) Community Colleges; College and Career Access Pathways: Assemblymember Chris Holden has introduced AB 30, which would remove the current sunset on legislation incenting concurrent or dual enrollment programs and removes many of the administratively burdensome steps that colleges and K-12 districts must go through to enact such programs.  For more information, you can download the above fact sheet. It has been set for a hearing in the Assembly Higher Education Committee on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.

Statewide MOU to Participate in CalFresh Program: Currently, colleges must work with multiple county, state and federal agencies to become an approved vendor via CalFresh. This can take up to 18 months and consume a significant amount of staff time. Additionally, over 60 colleges are located in a county that does not offer this program and thus even if they had the time and resources to bring CalFresh onto campus, they would be ineligible to do so.

Assemblymember Shirley Weber has agreed to introduce legislation that will direct the Chancellor’s Office to enter into a statewide MOU with California’s Department of Social Services, which then colleges can join if they would like to bring CalFresh to their campus restaurants and cafeterias.  More information can be found by clicking on the above fact sheet.

Colleges and community college advocates are strongly encouraged to weigh in if they feel any of the above items will be beneficial to your students. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact the League’s Vice-President, Lizette Navarrete. She can be reached at (916) 444-8641 or lizette@ccleague.org.

Impact of Revised Term Limits on Legislative Priorities

The legislative class of the 2019-20 session is one of the most experienced and the longest tenured since the 2000s when the impact of term limits was fully felt. In 2012 voters passed Proposition 28, which permitted legislators to spend up to 12 years in either house. Voter theory and hope behind this policy change were to allow legislators to gain more experience and considering the long-term implications of decisions made in Sacramento.

While it remains to be seen to what extent this is true, there are at least two examples of this that impact community colleges. For example, take dual and concurrent enrollment.  Assemblymember Chris Holden authored and successfully passed AB 288, which created the College and Career Access Pathway program that has led to a significant expansion in these programs. Over the past several years his office has heard concerns regarding remaining obstacles to providing to offering these programs. In response, Asssemblymember Holden introduced AB 30, which is intended to alleviate these concerns.

Another example is the effort to change how community colleges place students in college-level classes. Assemblymember Irwin introduced AB 705 with the intention of ensuring that as many students who can be successful in college-level courses are placed there as possible.  Since the legislation’s passage, she has indicated that she is monitoring how the system is implementing the legislation and would consider introducing new legislation if she believes community colleges are not following the spirit of the law. 

Senator Alexander Emphasizes Higher Education Act Reauthorization as Priority

On Monday, February 4, Senator Alexander gave a speech to the American Enterprise Institute declaring that the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) would be a significant priority this year. Senator Alexander – a former college president and United States Secretary of Education – will term out of his Chairmanship of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and is thus expected to have additional incentives to reauthorize the act. His goal is to introduce the Act this spring and hopes for full Senate approval this summer.

In his speech he highlighted the following priorities:

FASFA Simplification: Senator Alexander has long been a critic of how complicated the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) is to fill out. The application is proven to lead many students to begin, but not finish the application and college administrative costs to provide students with support to fill out the application are significant. He believes that the questions on the form can be reduced by almost 80%.

Title IX Investigations: While Senator Alexander had little to comment on the specifics of the anticipated regulations by the Department of Education, he did say that Congress has a responsibility to provide some guidance to the Department on this matter.

Gainful Employment: Senator Alexander proposed to replace Obama era regulations that hold colleges accountable for the debt to earnings ratio of their graduates to one that focuses primarily on loan repayment metrics. He also would apply this metric to every college, not just for-profit institutions and programs that lead to a certificate or workforce credential.

Streamlined Loan Repayment System: Another item was to streamline the various ways students pay back their student loans. Senator Alexander proposed to provide two options: 1) a 10-year repayment plan, and 2) an income-based repayment plan that would automatically deduct payments from a loan recipients’ paycheck.

National Legislative Summit: California Delegation Breakfast and Reception

The League, along with the Chancellor’s Office and the Los Angeles Community College District is pleased to provide opportunities for you to catch up with your colleagues and California congressional representatives at ACCT’s National Legislative Summit. Please note that these are separate from the overall conference and RSVPing to each individual event is necessary.   

California Delegation Breakfast and Briefing

What: A chance to eat breakfast with your colleagues at the National Legislative Summit
Speaker: Congressman Ami Bera, Chair of the California Public Higher Education Caucus
Where: Washington Marriot Marquis
Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2019
When: 7:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Registration: Registration closes this Friday or when capacity is reached. 

Register Here

Reception Celebrating the California Congressional Delegation and Newly Elected Members

What: Opportunity to meet newly elected California members of Congress.
Where: Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, 101 Constitution Avenue NW, Suite 900
Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2019
When: 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
RSVP: Please RSVP by clicking on the link below.

RSVP Here  

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

Upcoming Events

Building Diversity Summit
February 8-9 | Los Angeles, CA

2019 National Legislative Conference 
February 10-13 | Washington, D.C.

Asilomar Leadership Skills Seminar
February 12-15 | Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove

Achieve the Dream 15th Annual Conference
February 19-22 | Long Beach, CA

Deadline to Introduce Legislation
February 22

CEO Symposium
March 1-4 | San Diego

Hearing on AB 30 (Holden)
March 5 | Sacramento, CA

Follow Bills Tracked at: www.ccleague.org/bills
Follow news related to Budget and Policy at: http://www.ccleague.org/policy

For more information, contact the League's Government Relations and Communications staff:

Lizette Navarette, Vice President | lizette@ccleague.org
Ryan McElhinney, Legislative Advocate | ryan@ccleague.org
Laura Murrell, Communications Manager | laura@ccleague.org
Rina Kasim, Member Resources Associate | rina@ccleague.org
Gerson Light-Sanchez, Government Relations & Communications Fellow | fellow@ccleague.org