The governor signed roughly 100 bills relating to education and children’s welfare by the Sunday deadline
According to the program named the California College Promise, an additional 19,000 students may be entitled to a free first year of community college.
The groundbreaking bill states: “ . . . it is the intent of the legislature that sufficient funding be allocated to each community college to waive all student fees.”
However, it does not specifically state how college tuition would be waived and what students in particular would benefit, reading: “[colleges] may use funding . . . to waive some or all fees”.
The law has yet to state the mechanics of its implementation or funding, which will be decided in 2018-2019. An aide to Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, one of the authors of the law, stated Santiago expected colleges would have to adopt certain reforms to receive free tuition funding.
Eloy Ortiz Oakley, California Community Colleges Chancellor said of the bill: “[it] will help foster a stronger culture of college participation that will enhance upward social mobility in California.”
Laws passed to improve school funding, student quality of education and infrastructure
Among the other laws signed and passed included a law to allow flexibility in school designs and funding to smaller school districts to expand their campuses, and a cap on school district reserves to discourage hoarding of funds.
Key laws to benefit students include an end to “meal-shaming”, allowing students to enjoy school lunches whether their parents have paid the bill or not; supporting schools’ media and arts programs, and restricting expulsion for pre-school age children.
Remedial education programs will also be reformed, and a temporary program encouraging partnerships between school districts, local communities and colleges was voted as a permanent.