The final state budget for California for 2016-2017 includes $30 billion for higher education, with a focus on grants for college readiness and improving graduation rates. The budget includes a $200 million dollar block grant to improve college readiness allocated to local K-12 agencies, and a “Community College Basic Skills Transformation” block grant of $30 million to support students’ transition to college-level courses. $20 million is devoted to expanding access to online courses, and $35 million is devoted to improving graduation rates at the CSU.
In a press release the Campaign for College Opportunity calls the 2016-17 state budget “a student-centered budget for higher education that expands opportunities for more Californians.” The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges expressed appreciation for the strengthening of community colleges in a press release. The California Faculty Association released a statement expressing appreciation for additional base funding for the CSU but critiquing the reliance on one-time funding to improve student graduation rates, arguing that the need for more faculty, more courses, and students relying on part-time employment to pay for college cannot be addressed by one-time funding.
The summary of the 2016-17 state budget can be found at http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/FullBudgetSummary.pdf