January, 2020

In this Issue:

  • 2020-21 Budget Advocacy Begins with Governor Newsom’s Second Proposal
  • Proposition 13 Toolkit - The Schools and Colleges Facilities Bond
  • League Identifies the 2020 Policy Priorities
  • FUTURE Act Emerges as Higher Education Act Successor
  • Join Us for our Next Webinar: Tuesday, February 18 at 11:00 a.m.
  • Federal Grant Opportunities
  • Upcoming Events

2020-21 Budget Advocacy Begins with Governor Newsom’s Second Proposal

Governor Newsom released the second budget proposal of his term on January 10, 2020. Under his 2020-21 proposal, the overall state budget would increase by 3.5% from the enacted 2019-20 budget to $222.2 billion. General Fund spending would increase by 3.6%, to $153.1 billion. Major themes of the Governor’s budget proposal include:

  • Addressing the affordability crisis through health care initiatives focused on cost savings to consumers, and by continuing the Governor’s efforts to address both the availability and affordability of housing.
  • Investing in emergency response to confront the statewide crisis of homelessness through increased funding and a fundamental shift in the state’s role in housing unsheltered persons; and providing funds to combat the continuing threat of wildfires and the climate risk that compounds them.
  • Promoting opportunity through increased public school funding, a new Department of Early Childhood Development, continued progress toward universal preschool and expanded access across all higher education segments.

Budget Overview
The Governor’s budget proposal for California Community Colleges (CCC) includes new, ongoing investments in work-based learning and targeted student support services, and streamlines coordination of systemwide initiatives and technical assistance. Governor Newsom proposes an increase of $31.9 million in Proposition 98 funding for enrollment growth and a $167.2 million increase to provide the statutory 2.29% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for apportionments. In addition, the Governor’s Budget provides one-time funding for CCC facilities, faculty development and support, and college affordability.

SCFF Implementation
While the Governor offers no significant changes to the Student Centered Funding Formula (SCFF) in his budget proposal, the Administration notes that it supports the recent recommendations from the SCFF Oversight Committee to include a metric reflecting first-generation college students within the formula. However, incorporating this metric first requires the collection of first-generation data that is aligned with the committee’s recommended definition. Thus, the Administration expects the Chancellor’s Office to develop guidance and work with community colleges to collect this data for inclusion in the formula.

Apprenticeship Programs
Apprenticeship and work-based learning programs were big-ticket items in the 2020-21 budget proposal. Governor Newsom’s Budget proposes an increase of $83.2 million in funding for apprenticeship programs. Specifically:

  • $48.2 million ($27.8 million ongoing) to support projected increases in apprenticeship instructional hours
  • $15 million to expand the California Apprenticeship Initiative
  • $20 million to expand access to work-based learning models

Financial Aid Reform and Affordability
While the Budget does not provide any major proposals related to reforming the state’s financial aid system, access to student financial aid will be a significant issue for lawmakers to consider in 2020.

We will likely see collaboration between Senate Bill (SB) 291 (Leyva), which would establish the California Community College Student Financial Aid Program, and Assembly Bill (AB) 1314 (Medina), which would significantly reform and simplify the Cal Grant award system. The Governor does signal to a forthcoming report on financial aid by a workgroup of the Student Aid Commission. Further, the Governor proposes $11.4 million ongoing for food pantry programs at community colleges.

CCC System Support Program
The Governor also proposes to utilize $125 million in funding from existing administrative fees and categorical program technical support to establish a new California Community College (CCC) System Support Program. The System Support Program would be managed by the Chancellor’s Office and provide for more responsive technical assistance for colleges. The proposal would increase transparency and efficiency in the broader administration of these funds. It is proposed that the Board of Governors would adopt a budget for the CCC System Support Program each year and then provide a report on expenditures at the end of each year.

Diversity & Equity
The proposed Budget includes $15 million in one-time funds to create and implement a pilot fellowship program to improve faculty diversity at community colleges. Further details about the proposal are expected in early February with the release of the budget trailer bill language.

Services for Undocumented and Immigrant Students
Governor Newsom proposes to provide $5.8 million in ongoing funding to ensure that each campus can hire a Dreamer Resource Liaison, which is now required by law after the Governor signed Assembly Bill 1645 last year. Building off of a one-time appropriation from last year’s enacted budget, the Governor proposes $10 million in ongoing funding to provide legal services for immigrant students, faculty, and staff.

Dual Enrollment
The Administration affirms their support of dual enrollment with a proposed investment of $5 million for instructional materials for dual enrollment students. The proposal is expected to leverage College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP) dual enrollment programs, established and updated by AB 288 and AB 30.

Budget Advocacy
The release of the Governor’s 2020-21 Budget proposal launch the budget advocacy season. College leaders will have an opportunity to weigh on proposals over the next several months. Additionally, the Legislature will delve in further by providing their recommendations and priorities. Now until the May Revision, the League will make the case for a more robust investment in deferred maintenance, financial aid reform to cover the total cost of education, ongoing mental health resources from Proposition 63, and a pension costs relief. The financial condition of the State, as well as Governor Newsom’s negotiations with members of the Legislature will undoubtedly be major influences in the final the 2020-21 State Budget.

Proposition 13 Toolkit - The Schools and Colleges Facilities Bond

On March 3, 2020, Californians will have an opportunity to vote on Proposition 13, the Schools and Colleges Facilities Bond. Proposition 13 is the largest education facilities bond in state history, promoting adequate and equitable school, college, and university facilities that will provide healthy, safe, and educationally appropriate educational infrastructure for our students.

The League is pleased to provide a series of tools and materials to inform and support local district engagement in this important ballot initiative. The Proposition 13 Toolkit is available at www.ccleague.org/prop13facilities, and includes the following resources:

  • Factsheets
  • Sample Resolutions
  • Legal Guidelines
  • Template Powerpoint Presentation

Proposition 13 was placed on the ballot by Assembly Bill 48 (O’Donnell), the Public Preschool, K-12 & College Health & Safety Bond Act of 2020. The measure places a $15 billion state school facilities bond on the ballot on March 2020 Statewide Primary Election. In addition to K-12 ($9 billion) and Community Colleges ($2 billion), the bill includes California State Universities ($2 billion) and University of California ($2 billion).

Funds from Proposition 13 will allow California public education institutions to:

  • Renovate facilities and equip learning spaces with essential technology;
  • Upgrade facilities for earthquakes and other emergencies;
  • Remove mold, lead paint, asbestos, and other hazardous materials from classrooms;
  • Modernize job, career and vocational training facilities, including for veterans returning from duty;
  • Provide space to improve student access to health care and mental health services;
  • Repair aging classrooms, college buildings, and career education facilities; and
  • Repair and replace deteriorating water pipes for clean drinking water.

College districts are encouraged to pass a board resolution emphasizing the need to continue to provide state matching funds for quality educational facilities. For a sample resolution, check out the Proposition 13 toolkit at www.ccleague.org/prop13facilities.

League Identifies the 2020 Policy Priorities

In preparation for the Annual Legislative Conference, we are pleased to share the League’s preliminary legislative priorities. The California Community College Trustees (CCCT) Board and the Chief Executive Officers of California Community Colleges (CEOCCC) Board identified student financial aid, higher per-student funding, pension relief, and deferred maintenance, among others, as key advocacy priorities. We invite you to join us in advocacy around these important issues. Copies of the final 2020 Policy Priorities will be available at the Legislative Conference and include a response to the Governor’s Budget Proposal.

  • Support Greater Investment in Per-Student Funding and General Operations

There is a critical nexus between per-student funding and educational quality. Sufficient resources encourage innovation and promote fiscal stability for districts confronting rapidly growing pension, instructional, and energy costs. Our highest priority is to protect quality public higher education opportunities for Californians by securing a robust investment in California’s community colleges. We respectfully request State leaders automatically increase the California Community College General Fund allocation to backfill any shortfalls in apportionments and property taxes, and appreciably increase the investment in base funding for all colleges. The 21st Century labor market necessitates some postsecondary education. This economic reality requires a continued investment in and protection of the educational opportunities provided by California’s community colleges.

  • Equitably Fund Financial Aid for Community College Students  

As currently structured, Cal Grants continue to distribute less than 10% of its resources to California community college students despite the fact that our students comprise two-thirds of the higher education population. State financial aid design perpetuates inequities by unjustly limiting community college students’ access to financial aid. Reform our state’s financial aid system to cover community college students’ total cost of attendance, and make a significant investment in students’ total cost of education. 

  • Fund Deferred Maintenance & Instructional Equipment

Colleges are grappling with aging infrastructure that requires replacement, renovation, or retrofitting. In the status quo, the resources needed to tackle such projects compete with student supports and services. We respectfully request a 2020-21 budget that includes a robust investment in deferred maintenance. Insufficient deferred maintenance and instructional equipment funds constitute a significant threat to a college’s ability to offer quality learning experiences on a safe, clean, and adequately equipped campus environment.

  • Employees Deserve Certainty in Retirement - Address Unfunded Liabilities

College employees deserve the certainty of a funded pension in retirement. Unfunded pension liabilities continue to represent a major fiscal burden for both the state government and local education agencies (LEAs) within California. These increasing costs are crowding out services intended for student success. We ask the Legislature to partner with LEAs and pay down CalSTRS and CalPERS’ unfunded liability rate increases for community colleges.

  • Provide Ongoing Funding from the Mental Health Services Act

We greatly appreciate the one-time funding from the Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63) provided by the Legislature in recent budgets. We also recognize that this funding has not met the demand for mental health services across our system. Sufficient and ongoing funding from Proposition 63 would greatly assist our colleges in providing mental health services to support our students and ensure successful completion of their educational goals.

  • Continuation and Expansion of Baccalaureate Degrees at CCCs

According to the PPIC, if current trends continue, California will face a skills gap of 1.1 million workers with bachelor’s degrees by 2030. Failure to keep up with the demand for skilled workers will curtail economic growth, limit economic mobility, and increase inequality. The result will be a less productive California economy, limited social mobility, and lower incomes and tax revenue. We strongly urge continuation and expansion of the Baccalaureate degree programs at community colleges.

  • Fund Efforts that Increase Coordination such as an Integrated Library System

A systemwide Integrated Library System (ILS) will allow every student in California’s community colleges to access a cloud-based library catalog that can be retrieved through a variety of means, including mobile devices. Greater coordination of systemwide services and supports increases collaboration and cost-savings among colleges while enabling transparency and long-term planning.

FUTURE Act Emerges as Higher Education Act Successor

In a rare act of bipartisan agreement, Congressional leaders come together late in 2019 to pass legislation, known as the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (“FUTURE”) Act, amending the Higher Education Act of 1965, Chapter 20 U.S. Code. The FUTURE Act was signed into law by the President on December 19, 2019. The FUTURE Act includes more than $2.5 billion in grant funding and would also make modifications to the FAFSA application process by requiring greater information sharing between the IRS and the Department of Education. This cross-sharing of tax records will eliminate the need for additional income verification for most students applying for financial aid. It will also simplify the process to recertify income for borrowers in income based repayment plans.

Specifically, the FUTURE Act:

  • Permanently reauthorizes and provides $255 million in annual mandatory funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Serving Institutions
  • Is fully paid for by including the FAFSA Act which passed the Senate unanimously last year and which:
    • Allows Providing Tax Information only Once—Students do not have to give their tax information to the federal government twice
    • Eliminates up to 22 Questions—Students give permission to the Department of Education to request tax return data already given to the Internal Revenue Service, which reduces the 108 questions on the FAFSA by up to 22 questions
    • Eliminates Verification Nightmare—For most students, eliminates so-called “verification” which is a bureaucratic nightmare that 5.5 million students go through annually to make sure the information they gave to the Department of Education is exactly the same as they gave to the IRS
    • Eliminates $6 Billion in Mistakes—According to the Department of Education, helps taxpayers by eliminating up to $6 billion each year in mistakes (both overpayments and underpayments) in Pell grants and student loans
  • Enables 7 million applicants who are currently unable to access their IRS data for their FAFSA to verify that they do not file taxes without requesting separate documentation from the IRS
  • Streamlines student loan repayment by eliminating burdensome annual paperwork for 7.7 million federal student loan borrowers on income-driven plans
  • According to the Congressional Budget Office, the FAFSA Act saves taxpayers $2.8 billion over ten years which will be used to pay for the permanent funding for HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions.

Advocates believe the FUTURE Act will create a foundation for further FAFSA simplification. Under current FAFSA procedures, 50% of all Pell-eligible students undergo verification and 25% do not complete verification, and therefore do not receive Pell Grants or other federal financial aid. These statistics are likely to change in the years ahead as a result of the FUTURE Act. Congressional leaders estimate that as a result of these new reforms, 20 million American families will experience a simpler FAFSA process.

Join Us for our Next Webinar: Tuesday, February 18 at 11:00 a.m.

Join the League's Government Relations Team for our monthly webinars. Receive important information regarding legislation and proposals discussed in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. that will impact you, your students and your institution.

Every Third Tuesday of the Month, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., except for March 2020.

Webinar Details 
NOTE: The webinar meeting ID has recently changed
Telephone Number: (646) 876-9923 or (669) 900-6833
Meeting ID: 623 780 059

Be sure to register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the webinar.

2020 Webinar Schedule:
Tuesday, February 18th at 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, March 17th at 11:00 a.m.   Wednesday, March 18th at 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, April 21st at 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, May 19th at 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, June 16th 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, July 21st 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, August 18th at 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, September 15th 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, October 20th 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, November 17th 11:00 a.m.

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

Annual Legislative Conference
January 26-27 | Sacramento, CA

Intersegmental Basic Needs Summit
February 6-7 | Costa Mesa, CA

Consultation Council
February 20 | Sacramento

2020 Community College National Legislative Summit (NLS)
February 9-12 | Washington, DC

NLS California Delegation Breakfast & Briefing
February 11 | Washington, DC

Faculty and Staff Diversification Symposium
March 19-20 | Sacramento, CA

Vision for Success Summit
April 27-28 | Irvine, CA

Follow League Tracked Bills at: www.ccleague.org/advocacy/bill-tracking
Follow news related to Budget and Policy at: www.ccleague.org/advocacy

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

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