Gov. Newsom proposes more help for homeless California college students but no major Cal Grant boost - EdSource by Larry Gordon

Friday, May 10, 2019

While student advocates praised that extra proposed funding, they also expressed disappointment that the governor did not try to use some of the state’s historic revenue surplus to dramatically expand state-financed Cal Grants beyond tuition expenses and provide housing and food grants for all eligible students. Those additional costs could be as much as $3 billion a year, according to some analysts.

“If we cannot invest in a widespread Cal Grant overhaul now, then when can we? We have to do more to meet the total costs of attendance,” said Jessie Ryan, executive vice president of the Campaign for College Opportunity, a Los Angeles-based research and advocacy group.

Similarly, Assemblyman Jose Medina, (D-Riverside) who chairs the Assembly Higher Education Committee and has co-sponsored legislation to expand Cal Grants, said he wished Newsom would be bolder and push for “much-needed investments” in Cal Grants. “Student homelessness and food insecurity are the symptoms of a financial aid system that is underfunded and too outdated to meet the needs of today’s students,” Medina said in a statement.