Gavin Newsom, California's Democratic governor, last week rolled out his proposed state budget for 2020-21. The proposal includes substantial general fund increases for higher education. But the overall total would only increase modestly, as some one-time capital outlays expire. The budget also would set aside billions of dollars for reserves amid slowing of the rapid expansion of California's economy.
Proposed increases for the state's community colleges are intended to reduce cost pressures for students on textbooks and by reducing time to graduation or transfer. It also includes support for food pantries for students. In addition, Newsom proposed $83.2 million in new funding for apprenticeship and work-based learning programs for two-year students.
The budget proposal would not alter the state's recently created performance funding formula for community colleges.
Eloy Oakley, the California community college system's chancellor, in a written statement called Newsom's budget a "strong start."
Proposed general fund increases for the California State University and University of California systems reflect investments with the "expectation that both segments expand access, and continue efforts aimed at graduating more students, closing achievement gaps, meeting the educational needs of students in underserved regions of the state and improving all students' time-to-degree completion," the budget said.
Newsom also proposed targeted higher education funding increases for improving social mobility for Fresno and its surrounding region. For example, it includes $17 million for K-16 educational pathways into jobs in high-wage, high-growth sectors.