CA Governor’s May Budget Gets Mixed Reviews from Higher Ed

Suzanne Potter | California News Service
Governor Gavin Newsom's May budget largely spares higher ed but would cut the Community College COVID-19 Recovery Block Grant program. Photo Credit: Monthira / Adobestock

Governor Gavin Newsom’s new budget proposal, called the May Revise is being met with relief from the higher-education sector – which had feared big cuts. The higher ed budget is stable, despite a projected budget deficit of $35.1 billion.

Joshua Hagen, director of policy and advocacy for the Campaign for College Opportunity, said the revise fully funds promises made to the UC, CSU and community college systems.

“The May revise of the budget keeps intact the higher education compacts for the UC and the CSU in the roadmap for California’s future for the community colleges,” he said. “That provides stable base funding increases to all three systems of public higher education in California. ”

By law, the core budget must be balanced and passed by June 15th so lawmakers and interest groups will be busy hammering out a final package over the next few weeks.

The governor’s plan puts money toward a program that would require UCLA to set aside slots to guarantee admission for students transferring from a community college. Hagen would like to see that expanded to all the UC campuses, similar to the existing Associate Degree for Transfer pathway to the Cal State system.

“What we would like to see is that if a student earns a 3.0, to earn systemwide access to the UC that would guarantee access not to a specific campus but say that we are going to have a spot for you within the UC system based on how you performed while you were in community college, ” Hagen explained.

Lawmakers are also currently considering Assembly Bill 1749, which would require the UC Schools to develop a guaranteed system-wide community college transfer pathway.

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