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June 11, 2018

HACU Update on the 2018-19 California Higher Education Budget 

On June 8 the Budget Conference Committee of California voted to include a compromise between the Governor and legislative leadership on the California Community College (CCC) Student Centered Funding Formula as part of the 2018-19 budget package.  The new funding formula will change the way community colleges are funded from an enrollment-based model to one based on enrollment, equity allocations (based on the number of low-income students enrolled), and student success allocations (based on student outcome measures). 

HACU has been leading the effort on this issue since 2016 and had proposed legislation prior to Governor Brown’s inclusion of related portions in his 2018-19 budget.  The idea grew out of a series of HACU stakeholder meetings with campus leaders who expressed the need for greater funding for California’s higher education institutions that are serving increasing numbers of low-income and other underrepresented students.

The new funding formula provides a three-year phase-in.  The model includes 70 percent for the base allocation (enrollment), 20 percent for the equity allocation (number of low-income and undocumented students), and 10 percent for the student success allocation (outcome measures) in 2018-19, a 65-20-15 split in 2019-20, and a 60-20-20 split in 2020-21. 

“HACU is pleased that advocacy efforts on behalf of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and needy students have paid off.   A new funding formula for the California Community College system that provides greater support to Latino and other underrepresented students is included in California’s 2018-19 state budget,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio Flores. “This new funding formula recognizes and supports campuses that are serving increasing numbers of underrepresented students and will help ensure students’ completion of a degree or certificate.”

Due to HACU’s and other higher education organizations’ advocacy efforts, the May Revision additions included expanding the equity allocations to include AB 540 students and the student success allocations to incorporate progression milestones and weighted metrics for low-income and undocumented students. The conference committee compromise further expanded the low-income criteria by including all College Promise Grant recipients, rather than only College Promise Grant recipients age 25 and over.  The conference committee also approved an enhanced “hold-harmless” provision with an extension of discretionary funds to cover a three-year period which guarantees that all districts receive funding increases at least equal to the cost-of-living adjustment for those three transition years, and a new “stability” provision, which specifies (as a permanent part of the formula) that, each year, a district would receive the greater of their past year or current year funding.  Lastly, an oversight body will be created to monitor implementation of the formula and provide recommendations for improvement to the Chancellor’s Office, the Governor, and the Legislature. 

In response to campuses’ concerns regarding the outcome measures included in the student success allocations, HACU’s will continue its advocacy efforts for the inclusion of non-credit course milestones. HACU would also like to see the addition of foster youth to the equity allocations.    

The conference committee also approved $5 million in enrollment growth funds for the University of California to support an increase of 500 students, and $125 million in enrollment growth funds for the California State University system to support an increase of 3,461 students.    

The budget package will be presented to both houses for a final vote this week and must be passed by both by June 15, 2018. 

HACU Member Advisories are a service of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).