By: Nick Cahill (CN) – Seeking new recruitment tools to stem declining enrollment, California lawmakers on Wednesday approved a measure to give full-time students a tuition-free year of community college.
Under Assembly Bill 19, first-time students at California’s 114 community colleges would have their tuition waived for a year, regardless of income.
The bill’s author, Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, says the state’s workforce will face a shortage of 1 million college-educated people by 2025, and that his proposal will spark a “college-going culture.” According to state data, nearly half of California’s community colleges are seeing decreased enrollment this year.
Prior to being elected to the Assembly in 2014, Santiago was president of the Los Angeles Community College District.
“Providing one year of free community college to all first-time, full-time students can expand access to financial aid, promote equity, increase enrollment, help improve academic performance, and boost college completion rates,” Santiago said in a statement.
Santiago’s bill received bipartisan support, clearing the Assembly 61-16. The measure advances to Gov. Jerry Brown, who has 30 days to sign or veto it.
Officials estimate waiving the $46 per credit fee for all first-time students could cost up to $31 million annually, paid for out of the state’s general fund.
The proposal mirrors similar tuition-free programs in Oregon and Tennessee. The city of San Francisco has also announced it will waive tuition fees for residents attending City College of San Francisco.
Already having the cheapest tuition rates in the nation, California also offers a variety of financial aid programs to community college students. The California Promise Grant provides tuition waivers to low-income students, homeless students, and surviving spouses or children of fallen law enforcement and military veterans.
Santiago’s bill was introduced in March by Assembly Democrats along with a series of education proposals coined “Degrees Not Debt.” The ambitious funding package also called for $1.5 billion per year to fund new scholarships for University of California and California State University students.
Most of the Democrats’ package, including a proposed 1 percent tax on millionaires intended to eliminate tuition at all state community colleges and universities, failed to gain momentum in the Legislature.
“Financial challenges should not keep low-income Californians from pursuing better futures – all students deserve and affordable college education,” Chiu said in a statement.
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The middle class
John Voshell what’s left of us
William Berndt nothing! So glad people keep voting for liberals to lead us! ?♂️. It’s truly working out for the people who don’t work!
And it baffles my mind that they (not quite sure who to categorize here) want to get rid of the electoral college where this state would basically choose the president ?. A state that can’t manage a budget to save its life and votes yes on every friggen thing that taxes us more! And never mind that the voters want to let criminals out early, legalized pot, but yet want to keep the death penalty. So ridiculous.
so how to the teachers, janitors, administrators, electricity, water, gardeners, property tax for the land that the schools are on get paid??,,,,,oh, I get it….I get taxed MORE to put kids, that aren’t related to me, through school
That’s what it means to be part of a community, a society that should push the average education level of this valley past High School.
I can’t afford any more free stuff …
Isn’t that the truth!?!?!? This state is the worst at “Robbing peter to pay Paul .”
God help us if Gavin Newsom wins the governor seat…I’m pretty sure he’s worse than the Brown in office and I didn’t think it could get much worse than him.
Kimberly Jellings Shaughnessy he’s like moonbeam on steroids
The money all goes to the top, just ask Dianne Van Hook at COC. Salary and benefits total over 400k a year.
This is what happens when the children of the “Hippie” generation are in control… Nothing but Unicorns and Utopia… God help us!
Monique Spainhower Lopez
I wonder if Standford has that same program for Sam… lol
Stanford does have some kind of program. Call them
The value of an education is equal to what one has to pay to get it…remember what you had to give up, go without or do extra, just to get through school? HUGE mistake. California already has an exodus of high end paying jobs and small business. The top 10 employees at College of the Canyons are paid over $5 million in total compensation. What if they gave a 10% reduction to those 10 folks? That would give nearly all “students in need” a tuition break.
Van Hook is loaded up with 230 million dollars in Measure E money to build for students who don’t exist.
How we going to pay for this? Oh yeah taxes will go up yet again! I shouldn’t have to foot the bill for someone else’s college! It isn’t right!
There was a time community colleges were free… i am sure those who benefited from it are complaining that others will also benefit from this as well. ??♂️
Pleased to see Dante Acosta voted No. the Dems unrelenting push toward socialism is destroying this state. We don’t need more college, we need more vocational training. There are plenty of blue collar jobs out there that will land folks solidly in the middle class. That said, even vocational training should not be done on the backs of the taxpayer.