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Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a budget of $11.1 billion for California Community Colleges in 2021-22 — an increase of $364.9 million from last year — that provides a 1.5% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) and pays more than billion dollars in deferrals from last year.

“We are encouraged by the governor’s continued commitment to community college students and higher education,” says CCA President Eric Kaljumägi of the record public education funding proposal. “We also appreciate the Legislature’s early action that will help students in need immediately.”

The Legislature approved numerous early action budget items, including $100 million in one-time funding for community colleges to provide emergency financial aid for existing community college students that meet certain criteria.

Lawmakers also approved $20 million in one-time funds for colleges to increase student retention rates and enrollment, as well as $3.1 million in one-time funding to support community colleges’ effort to increase student applications in the CalFresh program.

The governor also asked the Legislature to take early action on these community college-related
proposals:

  • Provide $58.8 million to restore Cal Grant A eligibility for students impacted by a change in their living status due to the pandemic beginning in 2020-21.
  • $100 million in one-time funding to address food and housing insecurity among community college students.
  • $30 million in one-time funding to support student technological access.
  • $20 million in one-time funding for a systemwide effort to provide online professional development for community college faculty.
  • $10.6 million in one-time funding to support quality distance learning, including online tutoring, counseling and student support services.
  • Funding for work-based learning, zero-textbook-cost degrees

The governor’s budget proposes $35 million to support work-based learning, including $15 million in ongoing funding to augment the California Apprenticeship Initiative and $20 million in one-time funding to expand work-based learning models and programs at community colleges. The proposal also provides $15 million in one-time funding to develop and implement zero-textbook-cost degrees using open educational resources, as well as an increase of $2.5 million in one-time funding for community colleges to provide instructional materials for dual enrollment students.

“While the economy is showing some signs of improvement, millions of Californians remain unemployed,” the budget proposal states. “California’s community colleges are central to training and developing the skilled workforce needed for the state to meet its changing needs, and the state must prepare students with the skills needed by employers not only today, but into the future.”

The budget proposal includes the following additional adjustments to community colleges:

  • $8 million in ongoing funding for cost increases for broadband access provided by the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California.
  • $8.1 million in ongoing funding for a 1.5% COLA for the Adult Education Program and $1 million in ongoing funding for technical assistance.
  • $355.8 million in Proposition 51 bond funding made available for community college facilities.

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