UPDATE | After California lawmakers passed the 2016-2017 state budget on Wednesday, including $15 million to fund statewide college promise programs modeled after the Long Beach College Promise, Assemblymember O'Donnell released a statement.
“Today’s budget agreement reflects the Legislature’s commitment to live within our means and provide Californians with access to high-quality public education. As a teacher during the recession, I witnessed firsthand the devastating impacts poor financial planning had on our classrooms. By growing California’s rainy day reserve to its highest level in recent history, we adopted a spending plan that protects students from the draconian cuts of the past and helps ensure our future economic stability."
The approved incentive grants for the California College Promise will be used to "bring the Long Beach College Promise statewide," read the release. The allocated funds will increase enrollment at UC, CSU and community colleges, foster new investments for career technical education as well as increase access to preschool and childcare services.
Previously: State Budget Committee Approves $15 Million for Statewide College Promise Program
6/10/16 at 3:30PM | Following Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell’s May announcement that he had secured $15 million for the proposed 2016-2017 California state budget to fund grants that would incentivize the creation of a statewide College Promise program, he announced this week that the State Budget Committee has given its approval.
Assembly Bill 1741, co-sponsored by Assemblymembers O’Donnell and Freddie Rodriguez, will create the California College Promise Innovation Grant Program to spur the start of multiple regional college promise programs, according to a statement.
“California’s College Promise is about letting students know that we believe in their future and placing their ability to succeed within reach,” said Rodriguez in a statement. “Through these programs we can eliminate barriers and close the achievement gap so all students have the opportunity to receive a quality education.”
Modeled after the successful Long Beach College Promise Program, the California College Promise Innovation Grant Program seeks to engage local school districts, universities, government agencies and nonprofits in partnerships to ensure students graduate high school college-ready and are prepared to enter college-level courses, according to the release. The program aims to increase the percentage of students who earn degrees or career technical education certificates, increase transfer rates from community colleges to four-year institutions and reduce and ultimately eliminate achievement gaps.
“As a classroom teacher, I believe every hardworking student deserves a clear pathway to earning a college degree,” O’Donnell stated. “The success of the Long Beach College Promise is proof that when schools and college campuses partner together, higher education enrollment increases. I look forward to working alongside Assemblymember Rodriguez to deliver the College Promise to students across California.”
The $15 million will be part of the budget legislation that will be voted on next week, while Assembly Bill 1741 will be heard by the Senate Education Committee this month, according to the announcement.