Culver City Observer -

LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT SECURES UNPRECEDENTED STATE BUDGET FUNDING TO SECURE FUTURE HIGHER EDUCATION IN CALIFORNIA

Historic investment in higher education will promote equity and innovation

 


The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) thanks Governor Gavin Newsom for signing the Higher Education trailer bill yesterday, which in conjunction with the main budget bill, delivers unprecedented resources for the state’s community colleges, including dedicated funding for longtime LACCD priorities such as student housing and basic needs, workforce programs and ethnic studies.

This is in many ways the largest and most comprehensive higher education budget in the history of California, and represents the forward-looking approach of the state; with its focus on ensuring students have programs that fit with the jobs of the future—and making attending community college as affordable and accessible as possible.

“This year’s budget is a milestone for our community colleges, and will keep Los Angeles at the forefront of our innovation economy,” said LACCD Board President Steve Veres. “This historic package will provide significant, long-term and sustainable support for programs that will make our schools more equitable and accessible to all students, while providing a rigorous and relevant education that leaves all graduates poised for success.”

Notable items include $2 billion to invest in affordable student housing, a critical equity issue in one of the most expensive—and unequal—cities in the world. The legislature also included $100 million to fund students’ basic needs, including housing and food—a growing issue with costs increasing through the pandemic, and a particular area of concern for LACCD students.

“This was the year for our District to go big with an ambitious legislative agenda intended to build a sustainable, equitable framework for our institutions and our students,” said LACCD Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez, Ph.D. “I want to thank our state legislators for their support of California’s community colleges, and Governor Gavin Newsom for being a true visionary for higher education.”

The full list of legislative priorities advocated for by the District and included in the final budget bills is comprised of:

Institutional Support

Institutional support will ensure that there are educational courses and job training programs for students seeking access to our institutions.

• Elimination of all deferrals

• $371.2 million to provide a 5.07% increase in COLA funding

• Investments in Strong Workforce Program - $42 million in additional investment in the Strong Workforce Program

• $100 million for outreach, enrollment and retention

• Funding for Los Angeles Mission College plant facilities, including a warehouse and shop replacement – 2021-22 fiscal year funding of $304,000. By the time the project is completed $6.7 million of state funding will be dedicated to the project.

Student Services Support

Student Support Services will provide important wrap around services to students so that they can be successful in achieving their educational goals. These support services are particularly important for LACCD students who are disproportionately low-income and disadvantaged students.

• $10 million for the development of an LGBTQ+ pilot program

• $74 million for the Umoja, MESA, Puente, and EOPS Programs, promoting greater equity for all students

• $115 million to expand funding for zero-textbook-cost degrees and OER

• $100 million to support student basic needs, including food and housing insecurity

• $2 billion to invest in affordable student housing

• $6 billion for broadband expansion

Faculty Support

This funding will help support full-time faculty, which have proven effective in ensuring that students have the greatest support necessary to complete their educational program. Faculty are critical to the success of our students and these investments will ensure that faculty are provided the necessary resources to be successful.

• $100 million for full-time faculty funding, which can be used to hire ethnic studies professors

• $5.6 million directly for the implementation of ethnic studies programs

• $20 million for faculty professional development.

LACCD, working alongside key stakeholders and with students at the forefront in many cases, effectively advocated for this large-scale investment in the future of California’s community colleges for months, demonstrating the need and value of many of these programs. With an unexpected tax windfall, this advocacy was able to secure an even brighter long-term future for community colleges, as well as increased security and resources for current students.

“This budget incorporates many of our key priorities, and I commend Governor Newsom and our state legislators for their dedication to higher education,” said Mike Fong, Chair of the LACCD Legislative and Public Affairs Committee. “I am pleased that the legislature stepped up to secure the future of critical educational tools like the Strong Workforce Program, which will continue to make California a dynamic economy for years to come.”

The LACCD colleges include: Los Angeles City College; East Los Angeles College; Los Angeles Harbor College; Los Angeles Mission College; Los Angeles Pierce College; Los Angeles Southwest College; Los Angeles Trade-Technical College; Los Angeles Valley College and West Los Angeles College.

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About the Los Angeles Community College District

We are the Colleges of Los Angeles! LACCD (www.laccd.edu) is the nation’s largest community college district, educating about 250,000 students annually at its nine colleges that serve the residents of more than 36 cities and communities from 900 square miles of Los Angeles County. Since 1969, the District has been providing an important learning pathway for students seeking transfer to four-year colleges or universities while also offering two-year degrees and certificated training programs to Southern California’s diverse workforce in many specialized trades and professions. Follow us on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/LACCD, @LACCD, and on Twitter, https://twitter.com/laccd @laccd and Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/laccd_edu/ @laccd_edu. Members of the Board

Steven F. Veres, President | Gabriel Buelna, Ph.D., Vice President | David Vela, Second Vice President Mike Fong | Nichelle Henderson | Andra Hoffm

 

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