New Law May See California Students Enjoy a Free Year of College Education

College Education

First-time community students in college within the Golden State could be set for free or discounted classes in their first year. This is after Governor Jerry Brown signed the A.B. 19, meaning that "California College Promise" effectively becomes state law. This name was coined after the significant Long Beach College Promise program, which was started in 2008. The program was initiated to help ease the enrollment of graduates from the Long Beach Unified School District into Cal State Long Beach or the Long Beach City College.Thoughts on the BillEloy Ortiz Oakley, the chancellor of the California Community Colleges stated that a lot of people consider the bill as just a "College Promise" or a free tuition program without considering its importance. He stated that the new law would create an alignment and suitable environment to enable students clear their college education. Miguel Santiago, an assembly man, was the lead author of the crucial bill. Although the new bill does not provide the funds necessary for its implementation, Oakley stated that his office was engaging the state department of finance and lawmakers before the next budget cycle. When these appropriations will be made, it is expected that Oakley will be in charge of divvying the funding to all participating colleges.Estimated CostsAn analysis on the A.B. 19 revealed that it would require about $31 million. Mr. Oakley opined that this figure was realistic and hoped that the governor would go ahead and allocate about $30 to $40 million for the program next year. This will be in line with the law as the governor ought to table his budget proposals during the month of January. The A.B. 19 proposes that leaders of all participating colleges should either reduce or eliminate fees for the fresh full-time students for a full academic year. This will also include the summer session that comes before the fall classes. Community colleges in California are currently charging $46 as tuition for every unit. Individual community colleges do not automatically qualify for the additional funding.What Does the Law Entail?According to the new law, community colleges are expected to take adequate steps to partner with the local school districts in preparing the students for their college responsibilities and life. Leaders in the community colleges should also take the necessary steps to ensure that students hand in their applications for financial aid, which should be on a need-based basis. They should also improve their placement methods of students in their appropriate classes. [Continue Reading]