Governor Newsom and Legislative Leaders Deliver Significant Investments via Multi-year Commitments to Higher Education, Final Budget Leaves Significant Investment in Financial Aid Reform Unfinished

June 30th, 2022
Rick Angel 250x250
Rick Angel
Senior Communications Manager

On Monday, June 27th, Governor Newsom and California’s legislative leaders announced a final 2022-23 budget agreement with critical investments to expand student access and completion in California higher education.

The historic agreement cements the state’s multi-year funding commitments with the University of California (UC), California State University (CSU), and California Community Colleges (CCC) in exchange for establishing key targets for the systems in pursuit of the Governor’s ambitious 70% college-attainment goal. In return for adding tens of thousands more seats at the UC and CSU, strengthening transfer, improving timely graduation rates, closing racial equity gaps, and establishing regular reporting on their progress toward meeting these goals, the three systems will benefit from five years of predictable growth in state funding.

“We applaud Governor Newsom and the Legislature for their support of these extraordinary investments in our state’s colleges and universities,” said Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity. “This budget represents a big win for California students. The multi-year funding agreements ensure funding stability, promote college and university collaboration, and make real progress towards serving more students, improving the transfer pathway, increasing graduation rates, and closing racial equity gaps.”

In support of the Governor’s 70% college-attainment goal, the final budget also included language to adopt the Cal Grant Equity Framework⁠—which we have been proud to champion⁠— but ultimately fell short of providing funding in the final agreement. This leaves the Cal Grant Equity Framework’s implementation and expansion of over 100,000 new Cal Grant awards contingent upon future funding.

“We thank Governor Newsom and our legislative leaders for reaching a final budget agreement that adopts the principles of the Cal Grant Equity Framework and for recognizing the need to equitize and simplify California’s financial aid process,” said Siqueiros. “With the understanding

that our limited state financial aid resources should be targeted to first serve our most vulnerable students, we look forward to working with Governor Newsom and our legislative leaders to secure the funding necessary to support the college dreams for generations of talented Californians to come and enable our lowest-income students to benefit from the Cal Grant Equity Framework,” Siqueiros concluded.

The final budget agreement also includes critical investments in student success, which will support several longstanding priorities of the Campaign and the goals established in the higher education compacts for the UC and CSU and the Roadmap for California’s Future for the CCCs. These investments include $64 million (as a component of a one-time Flexible Block Grant to support CCCs) to implement equitable placement and assessment policy under AB 705 (Irwin, 2017), $65 million to implement transfer reform under AB 928 (Berman, 2021), and $105 million to implement common course numbering at community colleges under AB 1111 (Berman, 2021). The final agreement also increased the California Dream Act Service Incentive Grant maximum annual award by $1,500 to ensure undocumented students serving their communities receive the aid necessary to continue their education and expand access to Cal Grant A recipients.