Governor Newsom’s Proposed Higher Education Budget Maintains Commitments to Students
Los Angeles, CA – In the 2023-24 May Revision, Governor Gavin Newsom proposes a $40.4 billion investment in higher education, preserving his extraordinary commitment to California’s public colleges and universities and underscoring his dedication to increasing college access, advancing student success, and tackling troubling racial equity gaps. With a projected $31.8 billion shortfall, we commend Governor Newsom’s steadfast commitment to transforming publiceducation and ensuring students have a debt-free path to college.
The May Revision doubles down on the historic multi-year funding compacts established with the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) and provides ongoing investments at California Community Colleges (CCC) through the multi-year Roadmap. It maintains the proposed five percent base increases for the UC and CSU systems, as well as an 8.22% cost-of-living increase for community colleges, investments that are critical to supporting access and student success, as well as meeting future workforce needs.
A January proposal requiring only the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to offer Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) program pathways remains unchanged in the May Revision. We believe the Administration missed an opportunity to build upon their efforts to strengthen transfer by scaling the highly successful ADT across the UC system. The ADT has become the preferred transfer pathway for community college students transferring into the CSU, with nearly half a million students earning the degree. Requiring the UC to offer a systemwide transfer guarantee via the ADT would once and for all eliminate confusion and barriers to achieving a four-year degree for community college students.
“Higher education is a lifeline for many students and families, but without an obstacle-free, unified transfer pathway into the University of California AND California State University, students are left to navigate conflicting pathways that cost them time and money. Governor Newsom reiterated his commitment to accepting more California students to the UC system. We share the Governor’s goal and would take that one step further, by scaling the Associate Degree for Transfer to create one systemwide UC transfer admissions guarantee,” said Jessie Ryan,
Executive Vice President of the Campaign for College Opportunity. “The ADT should become the degree with two guarantees.”
Other notable highlights in the May Revision include $100 million for enrollment and retention efforts at community colleges and a commitment to expand dual enrollment. While the Governor’s proposal to expand the number of dual enrollment agreements is a positive step, a statewide dual enrollment strategy that prioritizes equitable access and guarantees transferability of coursework is still needed.
Finally, the Administration continues its vital work with the Legislature and the California Student Aid Commission to identify the resources necessary to implement the Cal Grant Equity Framework and to expand financial aid access to 150,000 low-income students beginning in the 2024-25 fiscal year.
“Amid a sobering financial outlook, Governor Newsom has demonstrated resolute leadership for students and higher education,” said Ryan. “He understands the state must do more to address the total cost of college, and we look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature to continue removing barriers for transfer students and identify the funding necessary to expand college affordability through implementing the Cal Grant Equity Framework.”
Key Higher Education Highlights
Honoring Commitments to College Access and Student Success
- Continued support for the CSU Higher Education Compact: $227.3 million ongoing General Fund increases for the CSU system. This represents a five percent base funding increase in return for the system’s continued progress toward improving student access and success goals outlined in the Compact.
- Continued support for the UC Higher Education Compact: $215.5 million ongoing General Fund increases for the UC system. This represents a five percent base funding increase in return for the system’s continued progress toward improving student access and success goals outlined in the Compact.
- Continued support for the California Community Colleges Roadmap for California’s Future: provides an increase of $678 million ongoing funding for an 8.22% cost-of-living adjustment and $26.4 million in ongoing funding to cover a 0.5% enrollment increase for community colleges, in return for the system’s continued progress toward improving student access and success goals outlined in the Roadmap.
- $100 million in one-time funding to support student enrollment and retention efforts at California’s community colleges.
- Provides community college districts with funding flexibility across categorical programs with an expectation that districts meet the Roadmap goals.
- Associate Degree for Transfer: Leverages state funding to require UCLA to offer ADT pathways for students seeking to transfer from CCC to UCLA (a model the Campaign hopes to see adopted at scale across the state), and to require UCLA to participate in the UC Transfer Admissions Guarantee (TAG) Program.
Keeping the College Dream Affordable
- While future funding must still be identified and committed, the Administration continues to work closely with the Legislature and the California Student Aid Commission to plan for the implementation of the Cal Grant Equity Framework.
About The Campaign for College Opportunity:
The Campaign for College Opportunity is a California non-profit bipartisan policy and research organization focused on a single mission: to ensure all Californians have an equal opportunity to attend and succeed in college in order to build a vibrant workforce, economy and democracy. For more information, visit www.CollegeCampaign.org / Facebook.com/CollegeCampaign