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.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Some experts frown on deals like those negotiated by Cendejas.

“Commissions really smell bad to us,” Greg LeRoy, executive director of nonprofit think tank Good Jobs First, said in an interview. “If a consultant can get a bigger commission in one place or another, that’s their incentive. It may not be best for the client.”

The group, which tracks tax subsidies around the country, is critical of site location consultants and views their activities more as lobbying than consulting, he said.

The state legislature wants more transparency. In addition to Glazer’s bill to ban them in the future, the California Labor Federation is pushing A.B. 485 by Assemblyman Jose Medina (D), to increase disclosures related to the tax-sharing deals

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Two state lawmakers have proposed to restrict or ban the agreements. 

California Assemblyman Jose Medina’s bill, A.B. 485, would require local governments to conduct public hearings before approving the agreements. Cities and retailers would have to provide more detailed information about expected tax revenue, jobs, and other state and federal subsidies the companies are getting.

Former Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed a similar bill from Medina in 2018, saying he favored transparency with economic incentives but the measure would be too burdensome. New Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) hasn’t taken a position on this year’s bill.

The California Labor Federation backed last year’s bill and is trying again.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Other measures include AB1345 by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, which would ban colleges from setting recruiting quotas or bonuses for their employees; AB1344 by Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, D-Orinda, which would require out-of-state schools to meet state consumer protections to enroll California students in online programs; and AB1346 by Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, which would let students whose private colleges close seek reimbursements for housing, transportation and child care costs from a state fund.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The rise of housing costs for students of CSUSB is one of the factors leading to this high rate of homelessness for students here, commented Madeline Zhuo, an employee at a food pantry, in response to the topics raised by the rally in Sacramento.

On Feb. 20 student leaders, college executives, and legislators rallied at the state capital for financial aid reform to combat food insecurity, lack of shelter, and wellbeing issues that plague California college students.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Students, administrators and legislators held a rally to reform college financial aid on the west steps of the State Capitol Wednesday afternoon.

The Student Senate of California Community Colleges, the University of California Student Association and the Cal State Student Association rallied together with legislators, administrations, research organizations and advocacy groups to call for financial aid reform for all college students to our state leaders.

Mia Kagianas, president of the Cal State Student Association and former Sacramento State Associated Students, Inc. president said she worked with other leaders from different student organizations.

“At the start of the fall semester, myself as well as the president of the University of California Student Association, and the president of Student State Senate of California Community Colleges came together,” said Kagianas.

Friday, February 8, 2019

An Inland assemblyman wants to revive a bill that would require California high schoolers to take an ethnic studies class in order to graduate.

Former high school teacher Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, backed a similar bill last year that ultimately was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown. With Gov. Gavin Newsom in office, Medina is optimistic the idea will be accepted.

“Knowledge of our history plays a critical role in shaping who we become,” Medina, a Latino, said in a news release. “When I was growing up, the history of those who look like me was not represented in the classroom.

“As a former Ethnic Studies teacher, I saw firsthand how much more engaged my students were when they saw themselves reflected in the coursework.”