October, 2021

In this Issue:

  • Congressional Visits: Advocating for Community College Undocumented Students
  • Will Infrastructure Week Ever End? An Update on Reconciliation and America's College Promise
  • Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program
  • End of Session Legislative Update 
  • Shared Advocacy Request Prioritizes Key Areas for 2022-23
  • Undocumented Student Action Week is October 18-22, 2021
  • Save the Date: Annual Legislative Conference, January 30-31, 2022
  • Join Us for our Next GR Webinar: Tuesday, October 19 at 11:00 a.m.
  • PCC to Yale: Welcome League's new Legislative Advocate
  • Federal Grant Opportunities

Congressional Visits: Advocating for Community College Undocumented Students

In September, a group of community college leaders, activists, and students joined the League for a series of virtual advocacy visits with California’s congressional delegation. The goal of these meetings was to emphasize the critical need to support and protect our undocumented students. Our asks included:

  • Codify the provisions of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program into law, making it permanent.
  • Permit DACA recipients to be eligible for federal financial aid.
  • Provide a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients.

The coalition was made up of representatives from the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, the Chancellor’s Office, the Community College League of California, the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, and the Student Senate for California Community Colleges. Meeting participants shared stories about how DACA has helped CCC students improve the stability of their lives and resulting in greater academic success. The coalition met with the offices of the following Senators and Congressmembers:

  • Senator Dianne Feinstein
  • Senator Alex Padilla
  • Rep. Ami Bera
  • Rep. Julia Brownley
  • Rep. Salud Carbajal
  • Rep. Mike Garcia
  • Rep. Jared Huffman
  • Rep. Alan Lowenthal
  • Rep. Linda Sánchez

During our meetings, it became clear that without voices from the field was critical. Reforming our country’s immigration system will not happen unless our delegation hears about the impact of the DACA is having on student success and access. To continue our advocacy efforts, we urge you to contact your congressional member today! Click on the following link to get started: https://p2a.co/YRfUgXl

Will Infrastructure Week Ever End? An Update on Reconciliation and America's College Promise

At the time of this writing, Democrats in Washington, D.C. continue their efforts to identify an intraparty compromise on legislation based on the tenets of the Biden Administration's Build Back Better Agenda employing the budget reconciliation process to pass a suite of expenditures with the barest of majorities (50 senators plus V.P. Harris) in the Senate and with a small majority in the House.

Those following the D.C. machinations know that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had to pull back a House floor vote scheduled for September 27th as leaders in both congressional chambers worked their members with varying degrees of success.

And while Senators Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) garner the bulk of media attention (and the wrath of progressive Democrats and activists), the more complex and challenging circumstances for the Biden Administration concerns the disparate positions among self-styled moderate Democrats, and members of the Progressive Caucus.

On October 4th, President Biden met with selected members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the following day with their Democratic Party colleagues who are generally less supportive of a $3.5 trillion package that has been the subject of negotiations. To further complicate matters, these intraparty negotiations are occurring coterminously with Republican refusal to support the formerly bipartisan and the mundane act of raising of the debt ceiling to avoid a federal government shutdown.

Reporting from Politico, the Washington Post, and the New York Times identify a $2 to $2.5 trillion reconciliation package as more likely to achieve Democratic support than the $3.5 trillion proposal from the House Committee on Education and Labor; especially as Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) has pledged support for $1.5 trillion in expenditures.

Noteworthy for all community college stakeholders, among the most cited proposals targeted for reduction is the America's College Promise (ACP) plan for two years of "free" community college. The proposal for tuition and fee-free community college is estimated to cost approximately $108 billion. As fashioned, the plan would require states to opt-in to receive grants of 100 percent of the national annual median community college tuition and fees - estimated by State Higher Education Executive Officers  (SHEEO), to be $5,162 in 2023-24 if enacted in its current iteration SHEEO.

As a reminder, the current version of America's College Promise would prove extremely beneficial to California since we have the lowest tuition in the U.S. California's investment in community colleges would mean that students would have access to resources for non-tuition expenses along with the proposal to bolster student supports. Estimates are that California would receive between $1 and $2 billion in federal investment under the current federal ACP plan. Additionally, the reconciliation package includes $9 billion in student success competitive grants, $80 billion for workforce development, and $20 billion for workforce partnerships. In sum, much is at stake in these negotiations in our nation's capital.

As always, the League will provide important updates as they materialize.

Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program

The Department of Finance released the following information regarding its process for the Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program:

On September 23, 2021, the Governor signed Senate Bill 169 (Chapter 262, Statutes of 2021), which established the Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program to increase the current stock of affordable student housing across the three public higher education segments in California, for purposes of supporting low-income students and addressing the most significant non-tuition aspect of students’ total cost of attendance.

For the first round of funding from funds available in 2021-22, applicants must submit initial proposals for 1) the construction of student housing, 2) the acquisition and renovation of commercial properties into student housing, or 3) community college planning grants, by October 31, 2021.

The application materials, detailed application instructions, and an FAQ document can be found on the League’s website. Proposals must be submitted via email to StudentHousingGrants@dof.ca.gov. Applicants must submit a completed application using the Capital Outlay Budget Change Proposal (COBCP) form and the Supplemental Application and may attach supporting documentation as part of their submission.

End of Session Legislative Update

With the Governor’s deadline of October 10th to sign or veto legislation having passed, the first year of the 2021-22 legislative session has now been concluded. Below is a quick summary of some of the more important legislative measures the League was tracking this year and their final actions.

League Priority Bills

AB 927 (Medina) BA Degrees
Would permit community colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees that are not offered by the UC and CSU and remove the sunset date on the current 15 college program.
Location: Signed by Governor Newsom.
Chaptered by Secretary of State - Chapter 565, Statutes of 2021.

AB 1456 (Medina) Financial Aid Reform
Would reform the state’s system of financial aid by:

  • Creating two new Cal Grant Awards focused on either four-or two-year students.
  • Significantly expanding number of students eligible for an award.
  • Two-year award focused on access costs.

Location: Vetoed by Governor Newsom
Click here to read the Governor’s Veto Message.

Academic Affairs

AB 928 (Berman) Transfer
Was introduced to smooth out the ADT approval, adoption, and utilization process, this bill would:

  • Create a committee charged for making recommendations to the legislature on ways to improve the transfer process.
  • The proposed committee would be made up of the following:
    • Three representatives from each of the system offices of the UC/CSU/CCC.
    • Three representatives from each of the Academic Senates of the UC/CSU/CCC.
    • Three representatives from each of the student body organizations of the UC/CSU/CCC.
    • One member from the California Intersegmental Articulation Council.
    • Three members of the public, one each appointed by the Governor and state legislature.
  • Require the UC and CSU to adopt one unified transfer pathway.
  • Require community college students to be automatically enrolled in an ADT program. Those who intend to transfer to the UC or prefer a traditional AA would need to opt out.
  • Flexes guided pathway dollars to provide funding to implement the measure. 

Location: Signed by Governor Newsom.
Chaptered by Secretary of State - Chapter 566, Statutes of 2021.

AB 1111 (Berman) Common Course Numbers
Would require California’s community colleges to establish a common course numbering system.
Location: Signed by Governor Newsom.
Chaptered by Secretary of State - Chapter 568, Statutes of 2021.

Brown Act

AB 361 (Rivas) Brown Act
Codifies into law the Governor’s emergency order into law permitting public entities to hold Brown Act compliant meetings via teleconference during declared emergencies.
Location: Signed by Governor Newsom.
Chaptered by Secretary of State - Chapter 165, Statutes of 2021.

Collective Bargaining

AB 375 (Medina) Part Time Faculty Teaching Load
Would have increased the teaching load for a part-time faculty member from 67% of a full-time teaching load to in between 80% - 85%. Colleges would be required to assign classes up to no less than 80% of the threshold of a full-time faculty teaching load.
Location: Vetoed by Governor Newsom
Click here to read the Governor’s Veto Message.

AB 438 (Reyes) Classified Employees: Layoff Notices and Hearings
Would provide classified school employees with the same rights to a notice and hearing with respect to layoffs as is provided to certificated employees of school districts or academic employees at community colleges.
Location: Signed by Governor Newsom
Chapter number not available as of this report

SB 270 (Durazo) Employee Information
Permits public employees to file an unfair labor practice charge with PERB alleging that a public employer has sent wrong employee contact info to their collective bargaining agents. If the allegation is proven true, public employers would be liable up to a $10,000 fine and attorney fees.
Location: Signed by Governor Newsom
Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 330, Statutes of 2021.

SB 278 (Leyva) Public Employee Retirement
If CalPERS reduces an employee’s pension post-retirement due to a ruling that part of their compensation is considered not pensionable, this bill will require the public employer to pay the difference.
Location: Signed by Governor Newsom.
Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 331, Statutes of 2021

Shared Advocacy Request Prioritizes Key Areas for 2022-23

At the September California Community Colleges Board of Governors (BOG) meeting, BOG approved the 2022-23 Shared Advocacy Request containing the System’s Budget Change Proposals (BCPs) and legislative priorities for next year. The BCPs are required each year in the fall from all state agencies for fiscal consideration in the Governor’s Budget Proposal scheduled for release in January. While the BCPs help guides the Governor’s decisions, he is not legally bound by them and has the authority to accept, amend, or reject them for the January proposal.

Work on the Shared Advocacy Request began in July when the Chancellor’s Office solicited proposals from districts and other constituency groups. This year, the League submitted the following:

  1. Minimum $100 million unallocated increase to base funding above COLA and growth;
  2. $300 million one-time funds for deferred maintenance and instructional equipment;
  3. $10 million ongoing plus $25 million one-time for assistance with cyber security;
  4. $25 million ongoing plus $75 million one-time for assistance with technology costs as an outgrowth of the pandemic;
  5. $30-$35 million ongoing to fund Instructional Service Agreements (ISAs) at the special admit rate.

The final Shared Advocacy Request adopted the first four of the League’s proposals, while rejecting an increase for the ISAs. The recommendation to increase base funding was pegged at $500 million and is now a point of conversation with the Department of Finance. Ensuring an appropriate technology infrastructure at each of our institutions is a strong justification for the request.

Other significant BCPs include, but are not limited to, funding for pension relief, student services, and outreach efforts for enrollment and retention. The legislative side of the Shared Advocacy Requests focuses on such critical areas as ensuring equitable access to textbooks, expanding access to financial aid, guaranteeing access to transfer, modernizing workforce education programs, removing the sunset date on College and Career Access Partnerships, and expanding eligibility for AB 540 nonresident tuition eligibility exemptions.

As the next legislative year approaches, it is important to note that the final budget will be a compromise between the Legislature and Governor, regardless of what was in the Shared Advocacy Request. That is why the League will be spending the next three months promoting the successes of our colleges and highlighting their challenges as the opening discussions on funding opportunities in 2022-23. Please join in this effort by reviewing the Shared Advocacy Request and initiating conversations with your legislators on your local needs.

Undocumented Student Action Week is October 18-22, 2021

In the last five years, our collective budget and legislative advocacy during Undocumented Student Action Week have led to funding for Dream Resource Centers and Liaisons, the establishment of an Immigration Legal Services Project, the expansion of AB 540 eligibility, and the protection of DACA. We know all too well that change is important every day of the year, not just during action week. This year’s theme, “Change in Action,” empowers us to engage in state, federal, and local action to support undocumented students in their goal of earning a college education. We must think about the ways we can cultivate and empower change that is long lasting.

During 2021 Undocumented Student Action Week, the California Community Colleges will be hosting a system webinar Monday-Friday from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. More information can be found on the Chancellor’s Office website. If you have any USAW questions, email undocuinfo@foundationccc.org.

SAVE THE DATE: League Annual Legislative Conference,
January 30-31, 2022

Every year, the League looks forward to hosting California Community College trustees, CEOs, PIOs, and community college advocates in Sacramento for our Annual Legislative Conference. We are pleased to announce the 2022 conference will be held in person. Please save the date for this year’s conference: January 30-31, 2022. Registration will open Friday, November 19, 2021.

The Annual Legislative Conference offers attendees an opportunity to:

  • Learn about important state and federal legislation and California Community College policy initiatives
  • Provide input to help shape statewide policies and the League's federal advocacy agenda
  • Hear from key members of the California State Legislature and staff
  • Discover ways to advocate for your college/district in the digital age

Join Us for our Next Webinar: Tuesday, October 19 at 11:00 a.m.

Join the League's Monthly Government Relations Webinar on Tuesday, October 19 at 11:00 a.m. for the last webinar of the calendar year. This month, we will overview bills the Governor signed and share our legislative predictions for next year.

NOTE: This will be the last webinar of the year. The League’s Government Relations Webinars will resume in January.

Webinar Details
Telephone Number: (646) 876-9923 or (669) 900-6833
Zoom Meeting ID: 623 780 059
Passcode: 550660

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

PCC to Yale: Welcome the League's New Legislative Advocate

Nune Garipian joins the League's Government Relations team as the new Legislative Advocate. She attended Pasadena City College, where she served as a student trustee and was admitted into Yale University as one of four community college transfer students. Nune earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Yale and was previously a field representative for her local Assemblymember as well as worked on various political campaigns. Prior to joining the League, Nune served as a Senate Fellow for the Office of Senator Scott Wiener. Visit the League's website to view our entire staff.


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

Board of Governors Meeting
October 15

ACCT Leadership Congress
October 13-16 | San Diego

Undocumented Student Action Week
October 18-22, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Systemwide Webinars

Consultation Council
October 21

ACHRO Fall Training Institute
October 20-21  | Virtual Event

ACBO Fall Conference
October 25-27 | San Diego

Academic Senate Plenary
November 4-6 | Hybrid Event: Long Beach and Virtual

League Annual Convention
November 16-19 | Virtual Event

For more information, contact the League's Government Relations and Communications staff: advocacy@ccleague.org

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