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AB-1583 Community colleges: enrollment fee waiver.(2015-2016)



Current Version: 05/31/16 - Amended Assembly        


AB1583:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 31, 2016
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 14, 2016
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 15, 2016

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1583


Introduced by Assembly Member Santiago
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Medina and Rodriguez)

January 05, 2016


An act to amend Section 76300 of, and to add Section 76300.1 to, of the Education Code, relating to postsecondary education.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1583, as amended, Santiago. Community colleges: enrollment fee waiver and additional assistance. waiver.
Existing law establishes the California Community Colleges, under the administration of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, as one of the segments of public postsecondary education in this state. Existing law authorizes the establishment of community college districts under the administration of community college governing boards, and authorizes these districts to provide instruction at community college campuses throughout the state. Existing law requires community college district governing boards to charge students an enrollment fee of $46 per unit per semester. Existing law provides for the waiver of this fee under certain circumstances, including, among others, that the student either (1) at the time of enrollment is a recipient under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, the Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment Program, or a general assistance program, (2) demonstrates eligibility according to income standards established by regulation of the board of governors, or (3) demonstrates financial need in accordance with methodology set forth in federal law or regulation for determining the expected family contribution of students seeking aid.
This bill would lower the amount of unmet financial need a student needs to demonstrate to qualify for a fee waiver to at least one dollar. The bill would require the board of governors, by January 1, 2018, to ensure a fee waiver application is available to be completed and submitted electronically by students at each community college. The bill would require the board of governors to establish a need-based aid program to provide fee waiver recipients with financial resources, not to exceed $1,000 per student per year, for the purpose of offsetting a portion of the costs associated with the purchase of books, supplies, transportation, and other general living expenses. To the extent the bill would impose new duties on community college districts, it would constitute a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to establish the California Promise a California affordability promise to ensure more Californians have the opportunity to access and afford community college in California.
(b) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1)California’s 1960 “A Master Plan for Higher Education in California” affirmed the state’s commitment to a system of higher education combining exceptional quality with broad access.

(2)The California Community College system is the largest system of higher education in the United States, offering associate degrees and certificates in more than 175 fields to 2.1 million students on 113 campuses.

(3)For every dollar California invests to get students into and through college, the state receives a $4.50 net return on investment.

(4)In 2025, California faces an estimated shortage of one million college degree and certificate holders needed to sustain the state’s workforce.

(5)To meet the demand for college degree and certificate holders, California has and must continue to invest significantly in need-based financial aid for California community college students, including the California Community Colleges Board of Governors Enrollment Fee Waiver Program and the Cal Grant Program.

(6)The fee waiver program

(1) The California Community Colleges Board of Governors Enrollment Fee Waiver Program offsets tuition and fees for more than 60 percent of full-time community college students and nearly half of all community college students, with the only requirements being that students demonstrate financial need and meet reasonable academic progress standards.

(7)

(2) Despite the many strengths of the fee waiver program, eligibility is currently limited to students with a minimum need of $1,104.

(8)Community college access and affordability are not exclusively tied to tuition and fees; for instance, nontuition costs such as textbooks, transportation, food, housing, and other college-related expenses can represent more than 90 percent of the total cost of attending community college, thereby preventing students from successfully enrolling in and completing community college.

(9)Although California has devoted considerable resources to need-based aid at the California Community Colleges, not every student with need is able to access or receive aid to offset tuition or nontuition expenses.

(c) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure all Californians with financial need are able to access and afford community college in California. eligible for an enrollment fee waiver at the California Community Colleges.

SEC. 2.

 Section 76300 of the Education Code is amended to read:

76300.
 (a) The governing board of each community college district shall charge each student a fee pursuant to this section.
(b) (1) The fee prescribed by this section shall be forty-six dollars ($46) per unit per semester, effective with the summer term of the 2012 calendar year.
(2) The board of governors shall proportionately adjust the amount of the fee for term lengths based upon a quarter system, and also shall proportionately adjust the amount of the fee for summer sessions, intersessions, and other short-term courses. In making these adjustments, the board of governors may round the per unit fee and the per term or per session fee to the nearest dollar.
(c) For the purposes of computing apportionments to community college districts pursuant to Section 84750.5, the board of governors shall subtract, from the total revenue owed to each district, 98 percent of the revenues received by districts from charging a fee pursuant to this section.
(d) The board of governors shall reduce apportionments by up to 10 percent to any district that does not collect the fees prescribed by this section.
(e) The fee requirement does not apply to any of the following:
(1) Students enrolled in the noncredit courses designated by Section 84757.
(2) California State University or University of California students enrolled in remedial classes provided by a community college district on a campus of the University of California or a campus of the California State University, for whom the district claims an attendance apportionment pursuant to an agreement between the district and the California State University or the University of California.
(3) Students enrolled in credit contract education courses pursuant to Section 78021, if the entire cost of the course, including administrative costs, is paid by the public or private agency, corporation, or association with which the district is contracting and if these students are not included in the calculation of the full-time equivalent students (FTES) of that district.
(f) The governing board of a community college district may exempt special part-time students admitted pursuant to Section 76001 from the fee requirement.
(g) (1) The fee requirements of this section shall be waived for any student who meets all of the following requirements:
(A) Meets minimum academic and progress standards adopted by the board of governors, which fulfill the requirements outlined in this paragraph and paragraphs (2) to (5), inclusive. Any minimum academic and progress standards adopted pursuant to this section shall be uniform across all community college districts and campuses. These standards shall not include a maximum unit cap, and community college districts and colleges shall not impose requirements for fee waiver eligibility other than the minimum academic and progress standards adopted by the board of governors and the requirements of subparagraph (B).
(B) Meets one of the following criteria:
(i) At the time of enrollment, is a recipient of benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, the Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment Program, or a general assistance program.
(ii) Demonstrates eligibility according to income standards established by regulations of the board of governors.
(iii) Demonstrates financial need of at least one dollar in accordance with the methodology set forth in federal law or regulation for determining the expected family contribution of students seeking financial aid.
(2) (A) The board of governors, in consultation with students, faculty, and other key stakeholders, shall consider all of the following in the development and adoption of minimum academic and progress standards pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1):
(i) Minimum uniform academic and progress standards that do not unfairly disadvantage financially needy students in pursuing their education.
(ii) Criteria for reviewing extenuating circumstances and granting appeals that, at a minimum, take into account and do not penalize a student for circumstances outside his or her control, such as reductions in student support services or changes to the economic situation of the student.
(iii) A process for reestablishing fee waiver eligibility that provides a student with a reasonable opportunity to continue or resume his or her enrollment at a community college.
(B) To ensure that students are not unfairly impacted by the requirements of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1), the board of governors shall establish a reasonable implementation period that commences no sooner than one year from adoption of the minimum academic and progress standards, or any subsequent changes to these standards, pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) and that is phased in to provide students adequate notification of this requirement and information about available support resources.
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature that minimum academic and progress standards adopted pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) be implemented only as campuses develop and implement the student support services and interventions necessary to ensure no disproportionate impact to students based on ethnicity, gender, disability, or socioeconomic status. The board of governors shall consider the ability of community college districts to meet the requirements of this paragraph before adopting minimum academic and progress standards, or any subsequent changes to these standards, pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1).
(4) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that a student shall not lose fee waiver eligibility without a community college campus first demonstrating a reasonable effort to provide a student with adequate notification and assistance in maintaining his or her fee waiver eligibility. The board of governors shall adopt regulations to implement this paragraph that ensure all of the following:
(A) Students are provided information about the available student support services to assist them in maintaining fee waiver eligibility.
(B) Community college district policies and course catalogs reflect the minimum academic and progress standards adopted pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) and that appropriate notice is provided to students before the policies are put into effect.
(C) A student does not lose fee waiver eligibility unless he or she has not met minimum academic and progress standards adopted pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) for a period of no less than two consecutive academic terms.
(5) The board of governors shall provide notification of a proposed action to adopt regulations pursuant to this subdivision to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 70901.5. This notification shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(A) The proposed minimum academic and progress standards and information detailing how the requirements of paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, have been or will be satisfied.
(B) How many students may lose fee waiver eligibility by ethnicity, gender, disability, and, to the extent relevant data is available, by socioeconomic status.
(C) The criteria for reviewing extenuating circumstances, granting appeals, and reestablishing fee waiver eligibility pursuant to paragraph (2).
(h) The fee requirements of this section shall be waived for any student who, at the time of enrollment, is a dependent or surviving spouse who has not remarried, of any member of the California National Guard who, in the line of duty and while in the active service of the state, was killed, died of a disability resulting from an event that occurred while in the active service of the state, or is permanently disabled as a result of an event that occurred while in the active service of the state. “Active service of the state,” for the purposes of this subdivision, refers to a member of the California National Guard activated pursuant to Section 146 of the Military and Veterans Code.
(i) The fee requirements of this section shall be waived for any student who is the surviving spouse or the child, natural or adopted, of a deceased person who met all of the requirements of Section 68120.
(j) The fee requirements of this section shall be waived for any student in an undergraduate program, including a student who has previously graduated from another undergraduate or graduate program, who is the dependent of any individual killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in southwestern Pennsylvania, if that dependent meets the financial need requirements set forth in Section 69432.7 for the Cal Grant A Program and either of the following applies:
(1) The dependent was a resident of California on September 11, 2001.
(2) The individual killed in the attacks was a resident of California on September 11, 2001.
(k) A determination of whether a person is a resident of California on September 11, 2001, for purposes of subdivision (j) shall be based on the criteria set forth in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 68000) of Part 41 of Division 5 for determining nonresident and resident tuition.
(l) (1) “Dependent,” for purposes of subdivision (j), is a person who, because of his or her relationship to an individual killed as a result of injuries sustained during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, qualifies for compensation under the federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 (Title IV (commencing with Section 401) of Public Law 107-42).
(2) A dependent who is the surviving spouse of an individual killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, is entitled to the waivers provided in this section until January 1, 2013.
(3) A dependent who is the surviving child, natural or adopted, of an individual killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, is entitled to the waivers under subdivision (j) until that person attains 30 years of age.
(4) A dependent of an individual killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, who is determined to be eligible by the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, is also entitled to the waivers provided in this section until January 1, 2013.
(m) (1) It is the intent of the Legislature that sufficient funds be provided to support the provision of a fee waiver for every student who demonstrates eligibility pursuant to subdivisions (g) to (j), inclusive.
(2) From funds provided in the annual Budget Act, the board of governors shall allocate to community college districts, pursuant to this subdivision, an amount equal to 2 percent of the fees waived pursuant to subdivisions (g) to (j), inclusive. From funds provided in the annual Budget Act, the board of governors shall allocate to community college districts, pursuant to this subdivision, an amount equal to ninety-one cents ($0.91) per credit unit waived pursuant to subdivisions (g) to (j), inclusive. It is the intent of the Legislature that funds provided pursuant to this subdivision be used to support the determination of financial need and delivery of student financial aid services, on the basis of the number of students for whom fees are waived. It also is the intent of the Legislature that the funds provided pursuant to this subdivision directly offset mandated costs claimed by community college districts pursuant to Commission on State Mandates consolidated Test Claims 99-TC-13 (Enrollment Fee Collection) and 00-TC-15 (Enrollment Fee Waivers). Funds allocated to a community college district for determination of financial need and delivery of student financial aid services shall supplement, and shall not supplant, the level of funds allocated for the administration of student financial aid programs during the 1992–93 fiscal year.
(n) The board of governors shall adopt regulations implementing this section.

(o)By January 1, 2018, the board of governors shall ensure a fee waiver application is available to be completed and submitted electronically by students at each community college.

SEC. 3.Section 76300.1 is added to the Education Code, to read:
76300.1.

(a)The board of governors shall establish a need-based aid program to provide fee waiver recipients with financial resources, not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) per student per year, for the purpose of offsetting a portion of the costs associated with the purchase of books, supplies, transportation, and other general living expenses.

(b)Eligibility for the program described in subdivision (a) shall be determined by utilizing the student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or California Dream Act Application, whichever applies.

SEC. 4.SEC. 3.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.