By Mikhail Zinshteyn
A bill to waive first-year tuition at community college for all California residents attending full-time is awaiting the governor’s signature after winning support from a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the state Legislature Wednesday.
If signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, Assembly Bill 19 would allow for an estimated 19,000 additional students to take advantage of the state’s generous subsidies for community college students — irrespective of their financial need — under a new program called California College Promise.
For the bill to have teeth, it needs money appropriated from the state, and currently AB 19 has no funding mechanism. The Department of Finance, which advises Gov. Jerry Brown on fiscal issues, opposed the passage of the bill in August because of the estimated $30 million to $50 million price tag to enroll the additional students. The department also dinged the bill for expanding financial aid to students who don’t need it, “which is inconsistent with the Administration’s effort to target financial aid to the state’s neediest students.”
Source: Gov. Brown weighing support for free first year of community college | EdSource
By Theresa Harrington
Gov. Jerry Brown signed the $183 billion state budget on Tuesday, after announcing he had reached an agreement on the details with legislative leaders earlier this month.
“California is taking decisive action by enacting a balanced state budget,” Brown said. “This budget provides money to repair our roads and bridges, pay down debt, invest in schools, fund the earned income tax credit and provide Medi-Cal health care for millions of Californians.”
The 2017-18 budget allocates more money to K-12 schools and community colleges, expected to increase by $3.1 billion over the 2016-17 level to $74.5 billion. School districts’ share of the increase will include $1.4 million more for the Local Control Funding Formula, bringing its full implementation to 97 percent complete.
Source: Governor signs 2017-18 budget allocating more money to schools | EdSource
By Daily Republic Staff
The wave of the future is upon us and it is happening at a unique intersection that has Solano County on the cutting edge of technological and academic development.
Existing manufacturing companies in a range of fields are finding a lack of qualified workers to fill numerous positions across the country. As a result, government, industry and academia have collaborated to help fill that employment void.
That’s where a newly developed biomanufacturing degree program offered through Solano Community College comes in. The degree program is a new frontier – a four-year degree option at a traditionally two-year setting. Students graduating from the program will learn how to grow living cells that can then be applied to a range of purposes, from health care to beer making.
Source: Solano College 4-year degree program represents wave of the future
By Richard Bammer
State community college leaders are concerned about a dramatic drop in financial aid applications among undocumented students, due, in part perhaps, to the political climate in Washington, D.C., and the Trump White House.
But Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor of California’s 113 community colleges, reminded that assistance is still available through the California Dream Act and urged eligible students to apply.
His announcement, in a press release issued in February, came several days after President Donald Trump broadened immigration enforcement policies, directing federal officials to find, arrest and deport those in the country illegally, regardless of whether they have committed serious crimes.
Source: “Dreamers” at community colleges urged to apply for financial aid
By Richard Bammer
Prominent educators and equally prominent members of business communities, it seems, are finally beginning to talk about preparing students for the 21st-century workplace, as local school district trustee have for many years.
On Wednesday, a Jelly Belly vice president spoke to some 40 AVID students at Armijo High in Fairfield, telling them what employers are looking for in a prospective employee.
On Friday, a revived K-12-community college committee met for the first time in Sacramento about how the two educational sectors can work together to help more Californians find success in the job market and strengthen the state’s workforce.
John Jamison, vice president of retail operations at Jelly Belly, the giant candymaker in Fairfield, generally spoke in broad terms about what employers seek in young people entering the labor force.
By Todd R. Hansen
Community colleges have long been a pathway to vocational goals – often the course chosen by those students who see no value in a four-year degree that has no useful purpose for their careers.
And while students who want to be teachers may attend a community college to kick off their academic lives, eventually tradition required they go to a university to get at least a bachelor’s degree and earn a credential.
A bill recently introduced by state Sen. Bill Dodd would allow community colleges, like Solano College, to develop their own teacher credentialing program.
Source: Bill would allow JCs – including SCC – to issue teaching credentials
By Ryan McCarthy
Students at Solano Community College can get a four-year degree for about $10,000 in biomanufacturing and finish college without debt, professor Jim DeKloe said Thursday at a meeting of three local chambers of commerce.
Industrial biotechnology professor DeKloe recounted how Genentech said in 1994 it would open a Vacaville site and how the corporation has assisted Solano College.
“They have been a wonderful partner,” DeKloe said.
Source: 4-year degree for about $10,000, Solano College professor tells business groups
By Richard Bammer
For many California’s high school students, dreams of attending college are being nurtured by a state grant.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson on Wednesday announced that nearly 1,000 school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools, will receive about $100 million in grants to help students prepare to attend college.
The grants, which are available through the 2018–19 fiscal year, come from a $200 million College Readiness Block Grant program administered by the California Department of Education. The expenditure also was approved by Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Legislature.
The goal is to increase the number of students who enroll in college and complete a degree program in four years, with a special emphasis on helping English learners, low-income students, and foster youth.
Source: State department of education releases $100M in college-readiness grants
By Richard Bammer
Educators want it; local taxpayer groups don’t: Proposition 55, the Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare initiative.
One 17 state initiatives on the crowded Nov. 8 ballot, it extends by 12 years the temporary personal income tax increases enacted in 2012 on earnings of more than $250,000. The money would be disbursed to K-12 schools, California community colleges, and, in certain years, to health-care programs.
The measure would essentially extend 2012’s Proposition 30, which sent billions of dollars to the state’s 1,000 school districts, among other funding recipients, including public safety.
Source: Educators, most voters support Proposition 55; taxpayer groups don’t – The Reporter
By Richard Bammer
Many parents, including Vacaville Unified trustees, California educators, and state and federal legislators from both sides of the political aisle support Proposition 51, but, as expected, major statewide anti-tax groups do not.
If approved by voters Nov. 8, the K-12 School and Community College Facilities initiative, the first of its kind on a California ballot, authorizes $9 billion in general obligation bonds for new buildings and upgrades to the state’s 10,000 K-12 schools, including 1,100 charter schools, vocational education facilities, and the state’s 113 community colleges. California has some 6.2 million students in K-12 schools and some 2.1 million enrolled in community colleges, the largest such systems of their kind in the nation.
The initiative’s fiscal impact, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, would be about $17.6 billion to pay off the principal ($9 billion) and interest ($8.6 billion) on the bonds. It would generate payments of $500 million annually for 35 years.
Source: Wide swatch of voters support Proposition 51; anti-tax groups do not
By Kristin DeCarr
A recently released report from the Community College Research Center examines the effectiveness of “transition courses” in use across the country to prepare students for college-level math and English coursework.
The report, “Improving the Transition to College: Estimating the Impact of High School Transition Courses on Short-Term College Outcomes,” discusses the recent use of “transition courses” by many states, districts, and individual high schools, which are implemented as a result of the increasing number of students who graduate high school unprepared for college coursework. These students typically enroll in remedial courses upon entering college, which are associated with lower progression and college completion rates.
Outcomes for the study were measured by observing which students did not have to enroll in remedial courses once they entered college as a result of receiving a passing score on a placement exam.
Source: Transition to College Marred by Remedial Need, Report Says
The Friends of the Dixon May Fair will award a total of $12,500 in college scholarships to Solano County students enrolled in a California university or community college and who are majoring in agriculture or an agricultural-related field. The deadline to apply for the scholarships is 5 p.m., March 1. The Friends will award four scholarships for those enrolled in a four-year college, and three scholarships for those enrolled in a two-year college. Over the last 14 years, they’ve awarded $142,000 in college scholarships to Solano County students pursuing an agricultural-related career.
The top student in the four-year college category will receive the $3000 Ester Armstrong Memorial Scholarship, memorializing the former Dixon May Fair chief executive officer. Three other scholarships, at $2000 each, will be given in the four-year college category. For two-year college students, the awards are: the Jack Hopkins Memorial Scholarship of $1500; and two scholarships at $1,000 each.
via Friends of the Dixon May Fair offer college scholarships.
By Katy Murphy
Fifteen California community colleges, including two in the Bay Area, are poised to be the first in the state to offer low-cost bachelor’s degrees after a historic shift in California law.
On Tuesday, Foothill College in Los Altos Hills and Skyline College in San Bruno received initial approval from the college system’s board of governors, along with 13 others recommended by the state chancellor’s office.
“This is clearly about people having access to an education that will lead to jobs,” said Regina Stanback Stroud, president of Skyline College.
via Two Bay Area community colleges to launch four-year degree programs.
By Michelle Maitre
President Barack Obama has unveiled a proposal to make the first two years of community college free for students who are diligent about working toward a degree.
“What I’d like to do is see the first two years of community college free for everybody who is willing to work for it,” Obama said Thursday in a Facebook video announcing the plan. “It’s something that we can accomplish and something that’ll train our workforce so that we can compete with anybody in the world.”
Under the plan, the federal government would contribute three-quarters of the average cost of community college, while participating states would contribute the rest, according to information on a White House blog. To qualify, students must maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average, attend college at least half-time and “make steady progress toward completing their degree.” States would have to opt-in to participate in the program.
via Obama proposes free community college | EdSource#.VLAL6WctHGg#.VLAL6WctHGg.
By Susan Winlow
Trustees at Solano Community College on Wednesday will discuss passage of a new law that will allow California community colleges to offer four-year degrees.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 850, authored by Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego, over the weekend as an answer to an estimated demand of more than 1 million four-year degrees by the year 2025. Currently only the University of California and California State University systems offer public four-year degrees. More than 20 states nationwide currently allow community colleges to offer four-year degrees.
via Solano College trustees to discuss new 4-year-degree law Daily Republic.
By Sarah Rohrs
Following years of painful budget cuts, California is singing a different tune these days thanks to tax windfalls for state coffers, according to the governor’s office.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s draft spending plan, a prelude to summer talks and deliberations for a new budget, calls for record levels of spending, state offices announced.
The governor is projecting a $107.8 billion general fund to pay for day-to-day- operations — about $1 billion more than what he proposed earlier this year.
That figure represents a 24 percent increase over spending levels in the 2011-12 budget.
Brown’s draft plan also calls for $142 million to address a litany of problems related to the current drought, including firefighting, emergency response, water management, wildlife preservation and food assistance, according to wire reports.
via Local colleges pleased with funding in May budget draft plan – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Brianna Boyd, Editor
Dixon High seniors who plan to enroll in a community college next fall will want to mark their calendars for a Community College Application Fair taking place at the high school later this month. The school will be hosting the fair on Feb. 28, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the library. College representatives and admission officers will be present from a number of area schools, including Solano Community College, Woodland Community College, Sacramento City College, Butte Community College and Napa Community College.
The fair is one of many new activities and events taking place at Dixon High this year to promote a college going culture. At the Community College Application Fair, students will be encouraged to apply for admission to one or more schools if they have not already done so.
via Dixon High hosting community college… – The Dixon Tribune | Facebook.
By John Fensterwald and Kathryn Baron
With state revenues surging, Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing to raise K-12 spending in next year’s state budget a healthy $725 per student – 8.5 percent on average – and to use additional new dollars to wipe the last $6 billion of late payment to schools, known as deferrals, off the books.
Brown will highlight increases for education when he releases the 2014-15 budget this morning. Leaks of the document to the news media on Wednesday pushed up the scheduled release a day. (See here and here for reports on the overall General Fund budget.)
Proposition 98 spending in 2014-15 would be $14.3 billion or 30 percent more than three years ago but less than 9 percent above the pre-recession level of $56.6 billion. Source: Governor’s Budget Summary for 2014-15.
via Brown projects big increase in school spending in next state budget | EdSource Today.
By John Fensterwald
From gloom to boom, how quickly things change. A resurgent economy and recalculations of revenue from the past two years will leave the state budget with a multi-billion-dollar surplus next year and K-12 schools and community colleges with unexpected billions more to spend, according to a projection that the Legislative Analyst’s Office released on Wednesday.
“The state’s budgetary condition is stronger than at any time in the past decade,” the LAO concluded in its 2014-15 Fiscal Outlook. “The state’s structural deficit – in which ongoing spending commitments were greater than projected revenues – is no more.”
via LAO projects huge Prop. 98 increase for K-12, community colleges next year | EdSource Today.
California students have new online help as they plan for careers and college, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.
“The diversity of our global economy can provide many opportunities for students, but having so many choices can be challenging as well,” Torlakson said. “With new features on two really great Web sites, we’re working to give students the resources they need to plan their path to a successful future.”
via Career Tech Web Enhancements – Year 2013 (CA Dept of Education).