In this Issue:
- Governor’s May Revise Leaves Room for Advocacy
- League's May Revision Budget Priorities
- Appropriations Committees Decide Fate of Key Bills
- Federal Grant Opportunities
- Upcoming Events
Governor’s May Revise Leaves Room for Advocacy
On May 9, Governor Newsom released the 2019-20 May Revision proposal. Building on the January Budget proposal, Governor Gavin Newsom identified three investment themes for California’s state budget: an effective government, promoting affordability and opportunity, and supporting just and dignified treatment for all Californians. The May Revision includes a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 3.26%, down from 3.46% in January, and, funding for a key League priority, $39 million for deferred maintenance and instructional equipment.
For California Community Colleges, the 2019-20 May Revision largely mirrored the January proposal and included: 1) a second year of free tuition to first-time full-time students and other local College Promise strategies, 2) continued implementation of the Student Centered Funding Formula (SCFF) with adjustments to the definition of transfer to award points based on the students’ residence, 3) a welcome buy-down of STRS rate increases, and 4) increased award amounts and expansion of Cal Grant programs for student parents.
The Legislature must move quickly to evaluate the Governor’s May Revision and put forward their own priorities and recommendations. The Constitutional deadline to pass the budget is June 15th. Below is the estimated timeline for the remaining weeks of the budget session.
Budget Sub #2 Hearing: May 15
Budget Sub #2 Hearing: ~May 21st
Conference Committee - Expected Announcement By week of May 20th
Conference Committee - Expected Votes week of June 3rd
Final floor votes - June 14 or 15th
Budget Sub #1 Hearing: May 15
Budget Sub #1 Hearing: May 16
Conference Committee - Expected Announcement by week of May 20th
Conference Committee - Expected Votes week of June 3rd
Final floor votes - June 14 or 15th
Proposition 98 and Community Colleges – Governor Newsom honors the split of a 10.93% share of Proposition 98 for community colleges. However, worth spotlighting is a new and problematic practice of funding programs, many of which only support K-12 education, prior to calculating the CCC share of Proposition 98. This practice further decreases funding dedicated to critical community college programs that enable Californians to reach their educational and career goals. Programs funded prior to the Proposition 98 split include: the Adult Education Block Grant and K-12 Strong Workforce programs ($515 million, $706 million, and $724 million in the prior, current, and budget years, respectively). The League will continue advocating for a more accurate accounting of funds.
Funding Formula – The Governor’s May Revision acknowledges the need to make technical adjustments to the new Student Centered Funding Formula (SCFF) to support an effective transition. As stated in the May Revision Joint Analysis, “under the Governor’s May Revision estimates, the revenues would be sufficient to cover 2018-19 Total Computational Revenue (TCR), which would mean the Chancellor’s Office would not administer a deficit.” While this is a relief for districts, it’s important to clarify that the Governor’s proposals reduce apportionments in 2018-19 mainly through reducing the transfer counts in the student success allocation ($49 million worth) rather than fully funding the SCFF as approved by the 2018 Budget Act.
The Administration’s proposed adjustments to the SCFF include:
- Mirroring 2018-19 funding rates plus COLA for 2019-20, thereby maintaining the 70/20/10 percentage distribution,
- Capping year-to-year growth in a district’s student success allocation to 10% beginning in 2019-20,
- Adjustments to the definition of transfer outcomes for the student success allocation. Under the proposed definition, a student’s successful transfer would be attributed to the student’s district of residence. The League has identified this definition of transfer as problematic and counters to students’ right of college choice and free-flow, and
- Extending the “hold harmless” provision, specifying that districts will receive at least the 2017-18 TCR, adjusted by COLA, through 2021-22.
Pension Liabilities – The May Revision maintains a welcome one-time $2.3 billion pay down of a share of unfunded liabilities within CalSTRS. The resources are allocated from non-Proposition 98 General Funds and could reduce the district contribution rate. In January, the Governor also proposed a payment of $350 million in each of the next two years to reduce these districts contributions. The May Revision increases the 2019-20 payment to $500 million.
College Promise and Free-Tuition – The Governor’s May Revision retains an allocation of $40 million for local College Promise programs, which includes resources to fund a second year of free tuition to first-time full-time students with incomes above the California College Promise Grant thresholds. It is important to also note that AB 2 (Santiago), a similar bill implementing a second year for free tuition to middle and higher income students, was amended to add back a provision to waive fees for first-time students, thereby reducing the cost of the bill to more closely align with the Governor’s proposal. The program continues to provide districts flexibility to cover students’ non-tuition costs.
Cal Grants and Financial Aid – Currently, the Cal Grant program distributes less than 10% of Cal Grant resources to California community college students, despite the fact that our students comprise two-thirds of the higher education population. Unfortunately, the Administration maintains this longstanding inequity and does not include a financial aid program to specifically support California’s community college students. The 2019-20 May Revision remains largely unchanged and proposes $121.6 million to increase or provide new access awards for students with dependent children attending a public higher education institution. The Cal Grant A access award is increased to $6,000 from $1,672, the Cal Grant B award is increased from $1,648 to $6,000, and the Cal Grant C award is increased from $1,094 to $4,000.
Affordability, Food & Housing Access – Most disheartening in the May Revision is a realization that the state of California continues to value the success and dignity of students at the UC or CSU more than community college students. This is evidenced by a budget proposal of $6.5 million ongoing General Fund to support rapid rehousing of homeless students at CSU’s and $3.5 million ongoing General Fund for students in the UC system, yet no General Funds are provided for homeless community college students. This practice dismisses the fact that our students have the greatest demonstrated need and the CCC is the system of higher education that serves the largest proportion of low-income students of color. Community college students’ needs should not be constrained to funds in Proposition 98.
In collaboration with the Association of Chief Business Officials, the Association of California Community College Administrators, and the Chancellor’s Office, the League crafted a technical joint analysis of the Governor’s May Revision. Its purpose is to provide factual information about the Governor’s May Revision as a common starting point for each organization’s further analyses and advocacy efforts.
The League has sent its May Revise position letter to the chairs of the Senate and Assembly budget committees. The perspectives in the letter are intended to influence the ongoing negotiations with the Department of Finance and the Legislature in the final weeks of the budget process and advance a 2019-20 budget that supports access, equity, and success for all students.
League's May Revision Budget Priorities
The June 15th deadline for a Budget Bill is fast approaching and statewide advocacy will be key to move forward a budget that supports quality services and instruction for students. To support your advocacy efforts, we have provided the following focused points:
MAINTAIN FUNDING COMMITMENTS & PREVENT DEEP CUTS
Fully Fund the SCFF and Backfill Property Tax Shortfalls
In 2018-19, state leaders adopted a new funding formula predicated on the goal of increasing successful outcomes of low-income and traditionally underserved Californians. Our priority request is a one-time appropriation of $49 million to fully fund the SCFF as enacted and implemented for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Colleges are weeks away from student graduations - failure to fully fund the SCFF will result in diminished services and create a structural deficit. We ask State leaders to treat community colleges equally and automatically increase the general fund allocation to correspond with any shortfalls in the SCFF and property taxes.
Oppose Trailer Bill Language to Fund Transfers Based on Students’ Residence
Districts are opposed to the Department of Finance’s problematic revised definition of transfer which would attribute points to a student’s district of residence rather than the district where they took classes. Our proposed revised definition would instead provide points to as many districts as necessary as long as the student took 12 or more units in the district in the year prior to transfer.
FUND ALL APPROVED PROJECTS IN THE 2019-20 CAPITAL OUTLAY PLAN
Refuse to Approve the Budget Act Unless it Includes Funding for All Projects
Across California, community colleges are deeply concerned with the inefficient release of Proposition 51 bond resources. For the 2019-20 budget, the Administration continues prior practice and only funds a fraction of approved capital projects thereby dismissing voter support for Proposition 51. As a result, projects have been unnecessarily burdened with cost escalation. Failure to fund all capital projects is a missed opportunity to create jobs and to cultivate a skilled and educated workforce throughout the state.
REMOVE BIAS FROM FINANCIAL AID
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 leaders continue to perpetuate systems that oppress low-income students of color when they exclude community college students from basic needs proposals and limit access to financial aid. It’s time to reform financial aid to cover community college student’s total cost of attendance.
PROTECT COLLEGE INFRASTRUCTURE & LEARNING RESOURCES
Fund Deferred Maintenance & Instructional Equipment
Colleges are grappling with aging infrastructure that will need to be replaced, renovated, or retrofitted, and the resources needed to tackle such projects compete with student supports and services. It is critical to approve a budget that includes funding for instructional equipment and deferred maintenance. Absence of these funds would represent a threat to a college’s ability to offer quality learning experiences on a safe, clean, and adequately equipped campus environment.
For questions or to engage in budget advocacy, please contact Lizette Navarette at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appropriations Committees Decide Fate of Key Bills
Thursday, May 16, was a critical milestone in the 2019 legislative process. All bills were considered in fiscal committees, known as Appropriations committees. The Appropriations committees considered the estimated costs to implement bills and if the state should prioritize taxpayer resources for these bills. Bills that are “held” in the Suspense File beyond the May 16th deadline will not proceed any further this year.
The League is appreciative of the support it has received for sponsored legislation from students, colleges leaders, and legislators. Below is the status of high-profile legislation impacting community colleges.
League Sponsored Legislation:
AB 30 (Holden) This bill would streamline the process for developing the College and Career Access Pathway (CCAP) partnership with K-12 partners. It would authorize the completion of one student application for the duration of participation in CCAP and extends the sunset date. Passed out of committee.
AB 612 (Weber) This bill enables a statewide a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Chancellor’s Office and California Department of Social Services (DSS) to allow qualifying food facilities on CCC campuses to participate in the Restaurant Meals Program (CalFresh) and accept EBT on campus. Passed out of committee.
SB 291 (Leyva) California Community College Student Financial Aid Program. SB 291 creates a new financial aid program for community college students that is based on the total cost of attendance rather than tuition and fees. Passed out of committee. Amendments to remove intent language.
Other Priority Legislation:
Financial Aid and Waivers:
AB 1314 (Medina) Cal Grant Reform Act – This bill consolidates Cal Grant A, B, and C awards and the Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) Program into one program, remove or reduce eligibility barriers, focus on the total cost of attendance, and support additional Cal Grant eligibility for students taking summer courses. Passed out of committee with amendments to phase in provisions over two years.
SB 575 (Bradford) Cal Grants: Eligibility for Incarcerated Students – This bill repeals the statutory prohibition preventing individuals who are incarcerated from being eligible to receive a Cal Grant award. Passed out of committee.
AB 2 (Santiago) California College Promise – This bill expands the California Promise Program (AB 19), contingent on an appropriation, by waiving fees for two academic years for eligible community college students regardless of financial need. Passed out of committee with amendments to limit to students in their second year, add a reporting requirement and clarify the definition of a full-time student.
SB 206 (Skinner) Athletic Endorsements – This bill would permit student athletes to earn income through endorsement deals. Passed out of committee. Amended to delay implementation date.
AB 500 (Gonzalez) Paid Maternity Leave – Mandates colleges to provide at least six weeks of paid maternity leave. Passed out of committee.
AB 897 (Medina) Part-Time Employees – This bill would increase, unless explicitly agreed upon, the maximum number of instructional hours a part-time, temporary California Community College faculty member may teach at any single community college district and still be classified as a part-time employee from 67% of the hours a full-time, permanent faculty works to 85%. HELD as a 2-year bill.
Instructional Service Agreements:
AB 720 (Muratsuchi) Funding: Instructional Service Agreements – Beginning in 2019-20, this bill would require funding for courses offered through an instructional service agreement (ISA) between a California Community College (CCC) and a public safety agency be based on a general apportionment rate per full-time-equivalent student (FTES) for enrollment in those courses. Passed out of committee.
AB 48 (O’Donnell) Facilities Bond – This bill would place the Kindergarten-Community Colleges Public Education Bond Acts of 2020 and 2022 on the March 3, 2020, statewide primary election and the November 8, 2022, statewide general election, respectively. Passed out of committee with amendments to include preschool facilities.
Faculty Obligation Number:
SB 777 (Rubio) Full-Time Instruction – This bill would require community college districts below the 75 percent threshold of credit instruction taught by full-time faculty to annually reduce the deficit between their existing full-time faculty percentage and the 75 percent goal by 10 percent, rather than applying a portion of their “program improvement” funds toward reaching that 75 percent goal. Passed out of committee with amendments to reduce the progress goals toward 75% and make requirements contingent upon funding.
AB 1727 (Weber) Career Development and College Preparation Courses – Would permit non-credit programs to capture apportionment based on census day attendance accounting rules. The regulations would be adopted by the Board of Governors no later than April 15, 2020. Passed out of committee.
AB 1364 (Rubio) Nursing Schools: Regulations – Would exempt 10 colleges, including American Career College and West Coast University from the Board of Registered Nursing oversight. Specifically, the bill would have exempt nursing schools and programs that are nationally accredited and have a licensing exam passage rate of over 80% from the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) regulations. Held in committee.
AB 302 (Berman) Parking: Homeless Students – This bill would require a community college campus that has parking facilities to grant overnight access to any homeless student who is enrolled in coursework and is in good standing with the community college and would require the governing board of the community college district to determine a plan of action to implement this requirement. Passed out of committee.
SB 568 (Portantino) College-Focused Rapid Rehousing Program – This bill establishes the College-Focused Rapid Rehousing Program to provide housing options for homeless college and university students and to ensure that policies are in place at California’s public postsecondary education systems to support students experiencing homelessness in transitioning into stable housing and remaining enrolled in college. Passed out of committee.
AB 1332 (Bonta) Would restrict the ability of colleges to contract with tech companies that conduct business with federal immigration enforcement agencies. Held in committee.
Sexual Assault and Harassment:
SB 493 (Jackson) Sexual Assault Investigations – Mandated policies and procedures as they relate to sexual assault and violence investigations. Passed out of committee. Took amendments to increase the threshold in which a person may sue the educational institutions if they felt their rights under SB 493 (Jackson) were violated.
AB 1504 (Medina) Student Fee – Would create a $1 per semester statewide fee to fund the statewide Student Senate. On the Assembly Floor.
AB 1689 (McCarty) Mental Health Services – This bill creates the College Mental Health Services Program, a matching grant program funded by Proposition 63 dollars to fund campus mental health programs. It would have appropriated $40 million with $20 million going to California Community Colleges. Held in committee.
SB 660 (Pan) Mental Health Counselors – Mandates the hiring of full-time mental health counselors. The requirement would be a ratio of one for every 1,500 students. Passed out of committee. Amended to further define the role of a mental health counselor and indicate that that the bill would establish a goal, not a mandate.
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
League Monthly GR Webinar
May 21, 11:00 a.m. | Online
ACBO Spring Conference
May 20-22 | Olympic Valley, CA
CEO Leadership Academy
June 7-9 | Granlibakken, Tahoe City
Classified Leadership Institute
June 13-15 | Granlibakken, Tahoe City
For more information, contact the League's Government Relations and Communications staff:
Lizette Navarette, Vice President | email@example.com
Laura Murrell, Communications Manager | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan McElhinney, Legislative Advocate | email@example.com
Rina Kasim, Member Resources Associate | firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerson Light-Sanchez, Government Relations & Communications Fellow | email@example.com