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March 21,  2017 - CALIFORNIA COLLEGE PATHWAYS UPDATE
California College Pathways (CCP) provides resources and leadership to campuses and community organizations to help foster youth succeed at community colleges, vocational schools, and four-year universities. Visit us at: www.cacollegepathways.org


Upcoming Events: 

3/22/17: Alliance for Children's Rights Webinar - Educational Needs of Foster Youth & Youth Experiencing Homelessness: McKinney-Vento, ESSA, & Beyond

3/27/17 - 5/12/17: CCR Child & Family Teaming Orientations being held throughout the state

4/13/17: JBAY Webinar: Foster Youth & Financial Aid, Part II: After the FAFSA (Post-Secondary Education Training Series)
 
4/18/17 - 4/19/17: California Foster Youth Education Summit: Hyatt Regency in Sacramento. 

10/16/17 - 10/17/17: California College Pathways Blueprint for Success Conference:
Sheraton Gateway LAX Hotel.


With the support of the Stuart Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Pritzker Foster Care Initiative, California Wellness Foundation and Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, CCP is managed by John Burton Advocates for Youth. Learn more at:

www.jbaforyouth.org

 
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Save the Date: 2017 Blueprint for Success Conference 

SB 12 Passes Senate Higher Education Committee 

President's Budget Proposes Deep Cuts to Education and Training Programs

California Assembly Financial Aid Proposals Miss the Mark 

New Study Reports on "Hungry and Homeless in College"

March 22 Policy Webinar on Educational Needs of Foster Youth and Homeless Youth
Save the Date: 2017 Blueprint for Success Conference 

The California College Pathways 2017 Blueprint for Success Conference will take place on October 16/17, 2017 at the Sheraton Gateway LAX Hotel in Los Angeles. Mark your calendars now for this dynamic event emphasizing youth participation, meaningful networking opportunities and in-depth workshops presented by professionals with a passion and aptitude for supporting foster youth college access and success. Information regarding submitting a workshop proposal will be available in April and registration opens in July.
SB 12 Passes Senate higher Education Committee 

On March 15, the Senate Higher Education Committee unanimously passed Senate Bill 12 (Beall). SB 12 will improve post-secondary achievement among current and former foster youth by expanding access to vital financial aid. The bill includes three provisions designed to boost the support youth receive with applying for financial aid prior to entering college, automate the process of verifying foster youth status and expand an existing on-campus based support program from the current level of 10 community college districts to up to 20 districts.

Committee members heard powerful and persuasive testimony from Luz Hernandez, a former foster youth and student at San Francisco State as well as testimony from Karen Micalizio, Dean of Financial Aid and Special Programs at Butte College. The bill passed with no opposition. The next stage in the legislative process is consideration by the Senate Human Services Committee before it moves on to the Senate Appropriations Committee, then on to a vote of the full Senate.
President's Budget Proposes Deep Cuts to Education and Training Programs 

Last week President Trump released the administration’s budget proposal, which included cuts to educational programs that would result in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal support to California. In the area of higher education, critical student aid programs for low-income students, which are crucial to foster youth attending college, would see the biggest cuts. The budget removes $3.9 billion from the Pell grant program. Cancelling funding from Pell threatens legal commitments to provide Pell grants to every eligible student who applies. Congress has unique accounting rules for Pell’s need-based guarantee; consequently, reductions in the Pell balance will lead to required, automatic future cuts in either grant amounts or student eligibility policies.
 
The budget further proposes to “significantly reduce” the federal work-study program for college students, although an exact amount was not specified. The proposal also would eliminate entirely the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Program. The budget proposes a 10 percent cut to Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) as well as a one-third reduction in funding for TRIO. GEAR UP prepares vulnerable youth and low-income, first-generation, and nontraditional students for postsecondary education. TRIO provides services throughout the education pipeline to help students succeed beginning in middle school.
 
The budget also substantially cuts grants to states and local government to provide workforce training to low-income youth and adults through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which passed Congress in 2014 with overwhelming bipartisan support. WIOA provides essential career and training services including assistance to out-of-school youth in accessing job training, reengaging in school, and earning their diploma.

JBAY encourages readers to express opposition to these cuts. Follow this LINK to find the contact information for elected officials in order to encourage them to protect and defend these vital programs.
California Assembly Financial Aid Proposals Miss the Mark  
 
The California Assembly unveiled financial aid proposals totaling $1.6 billion in new spending that The Institute for College Success and Access (TICAS) says would provide generous awards to students with little or no need and very little help to those such as foster youth with the greatest need.
 
The most significant component of the proposal is the creation of the "Degrees Not Debt Scholarship" program, which would expand scholarships to middle class UC and CSU students. While the Assembly’s dedication to addressing students’ college affordability challenges is laudable, this program would not target the help to those students who are most burdened by debt and excludes community college students entirely, where most low-income and foster youth are enrolled. Fifty million dollars is also proposed to increase award amounts to full-time Cal Grant B recipients at community colleges. This is helpful to those recipients; however, over three hundred thousand eligible applicants do not receive a Cal Grant due to insufficient funds. Another $50 million would make community college tuition free for all first-time, full-time students regardless of financial need (low-income students already receive fee waivers).
 
TICAS suggests that instead of using funds to expand support to higher income students, assigning an additional $1 billion to the Cal Grant program would mean that every eligible applicant could receive a grant that would allow low-income students, at all types of schools to better afford the costs of attending college. Targeting that money to expand financial aid for low-income students would support more full-time attendance, which research shows dramatically increases rates of completion. To read a blog post from TICAS about the proposal, click HERE.
New Study Reports on "Hungry and Homeless In College" 
 
Two-thirds of students at American community colleges struggle to pay for food; half of community college students struggle to find a stable place to live, while fourteen percent are homeless - living in shelters, cars, abandoned buildings or outdoors according to a new survey by Wisconsin Hope Lab and the Association of Community College Trustees. Highlighting non-tuition costs of attending college, it included 33,000 students at 70 community colleges in 24 states. A third of the students experiencing food and/or housing insecurity were working and receiving financial aid. Insecurity is broadly distributed geographically and socially with only slightly higher rates at community colleges with larger proportions of low-income and nonwhite students.
 
The report also considered the basic needs security of former foster youth specifically, exposing far higher risks for this subgroup: almost three-quarters of former foster care youth attending community college are housing insecure (compared to 49 percent of non-foster youth), 30 percent are homeless and 55 percent suffer greatest levels of food insecurity (versus 13 percent and 33 percent respectively). Students with children also suffer greater insecurity.

The report authors suggest that addressing such insecurity requires both institutional and policy responses. Colleges can charge leadership with addressing basic needs security, hire a case manager to assist basic needs insecure students, develop collaborative solutions such as partnering with local housing authorities, and develop robust emergency aid. The report also recommends that policy makers expand SNAP eligibility, simplify the process for establishing independence for financial aid, create incentives for providing benefits access on campus, and invest in targeted aid programs that reach students with the most financial need. To read the full report click HERE.
March 22 Policy Webinar on Educational Needs of Foster Youth and Homeless Youth 
 
A webinar on March 22, 2017 from 10am-12pm will highlight the voices and experiences of advocates and providers about the educational needs, legal rights, and best practices of working with foster youth and youth experiencing homelessness. Titled Educational Needs of Foster Youth and Youth Experiencing Homelessness – McKinney-Vento, Fostering Connections, ESSA, and Beyond, the webinar is being offered by the Alliance for Children’s Rights, the National Center on Homelessness and Poverty, Tipping Point Community, and Larkin Street Youth Services. It will explain the opportunities created by California’s Assembly Bill 490, the federal Fostering Connections Act and McKinney-Vento Assistance Act, and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for addressing the many barriers foster and homeless children face when enrolling, attending, and achieving in school. Follow this link to register for the webinar.
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John Burton Advocates for Youth · 235 Montgomery, Suite 1142 · Suite 1142 · San Francisco, California 94104 · USA