California’s Community College System

Endorsement: Vote yes on Measure LA to invest in community colleges

by on March 30, 2014

For years, California governors, legislative leaders and California’s elected officials have spoken of the need to establish a statewide system of community college education, but they have failed to do so. The state ranks 39th nationally in terms of the number of students completing their associate degree in four years and ranks 34th in number graduating from a four-year post-secondary institution.

This year, my colleague, Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr., and I signed Assembly Bill 29 (AB 29), the Community Colleges and University Act, establishing a joint state and community college system. The legislation establishes a statewide system for community college education. AB 29 is the second of four bills my friend and colleague Gov. Brown signed on March 24, 2014, that together will create a statewide system for community college education and the first of these bills to be signed into law. Two additional bills will create a community college system in San Diego County.

The governor and I believe this new system will serve our state well. It will increase opportunity for our students and prepare them to compete in the global economy by providing them with a pathway to college that prepares them for success in a competitive global economy. The system will also put California at the forefront of providing an affordable pathway to post-secondary education and providing opportunity for all students who wish to pursue post-secondary education.

AB 29 is a necessary and appropriate step to help meet California’s educational challenges. Community college students, particularly minority and low income students, are often not as successful in degree programs designed for college-bound students. AB 29 can provide an affordable, high-quality, and accessible path to degree programs for these students. AB 29 can also be a significant source of revenue for community colleges to improve their programs and make them more affordable to students.

This system will also allow California students who don’t have access to the higher education offered at a large public university or a state university to enjoy the same opportunity to learn, earn an education and become a member of our diverse and vibrant communities.

AB 29 is also a necessary action for California’s public colleges and universities because there is not enough revenue from tuition, fees and state appropriations to meet

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