Gov. Brown’s plan to change community college funding to promote student success faces scrutiny

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to link over $3 billion in funding for California’s community colleges to the number of low-income students they enroll and to student outcomes in general is coming under increasing scrutiny — and is likely to face more in the coming months. Currently California’s community colleges receive nearly all of what are called “general-purpose” funds — $6.2 billion in 2017-18 — based on the number of enrolled students. The governor’s plan would instead make just half of those dollars depend on student enrollment. A quarter would fund colleges based on the number of degrees or certificates students earn or who are ready to transfer. Another 25 percent would be tied to the number of students receiving certain kinds of financial aid.

While largely endorsing Brown’s new funding formula, the Legislative Analyst’s Office is recommending that Brown tie more of these funds to the academic outcomes of low-income students as an incentive to ensure they succeed, something his proposal currently does not do.

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