In response to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s release of his proposed state budget today, Emmanuel “Manny” Rodriguez, Director of Policy and Advocacy for California at The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), issued the following statement:
“Earlier today, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced his proposed state budget for fiscal year 2024-25 that reflects what he deemed an approach of ‘correction and normalization’ after an unprecedented period of growth for the Golden State. As an advocate for college students throughout California, TICAS understands the Governor’s efforts to keep the multi-year segmental compacts and existing need-based financial aid whole over the long term, while also making key investments in the Cradle-to-Career Data System (C2C) and FAFSA completion.
“However, the Governor’s decision to defer the five percent funding growth to the University of California and California State University systems, along with the budget’s significant changes to the Student Housing Revolving Loan Fund Program and the undecided fate of Cal Grant Reform will have real impacts on students this year. Notably, a delay or shift in the ability to deliver more affordable student housing increases the urgent need to strengthen the Cal Grant program to better cover rising non-tuition college costs.
“While we focus on the importance of increasing need-based financial aid further, we also acknowledge and applaud the Governor and the Legislature previous affordability gains, including the California Community College Expanded Entitlement Cal Grant and Universal FAFSA and CADAA Completion. This budget moves those efforts forward through the $5 million ongoing investment to support the C2C Data System and the $2 million ongoing investment to establish a Technical Assistance Center – both announced today – which aim to bridge the K-12 and postsecondary spaces to increase access and affordability for all students.
“We also want to recognize the Governor’s 13-month planning process to inform the Master Plan for Career Education and affirm the importance of its founding goal for all Californians to access and afford a quality education throughout life. This planning process must be guided with the understanding that California’s economy relies on more students completing a quality degree or credential program, as acknowledged in our statewide attainment goal of 70% by 2030.
“Today’s budget announcement marks the beginning of important discussions and decisions over the coming months. TICAS looks forward to working with the Newsom Administration and the California Legislature to ensure that the final 2024-25 state budget prioritizes California’s students of today and the workforce of tomorrow by strengthening racial and economic equity, alongside balancing the state’s current year fiscal needs.”