Dr. Jill Biden joins Lt. Governor Newsom, Mayor Garcetti to celebrate launch of L.A. College Promise

09-14-16

As part of her continuous efforts to lift up the importance of community colleges to America's future, Dr. Jill Biden joined California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, along with community leaders and representatives from California's various college promise programs at Los Angeles City College to celebrate the launch of the Los Angeles College Promise program.

The event highlighted the progress on free community college in California, and share new resources and best practices to fuel the momentum for free community college across the country. Los Angeles is the largest city in the country to answer President Obama's call to make community college free for responsible students.

BACKGROUND

Lieutenant Governor Newsom has called for the California College Promise, a statewide initiative to increase resources and regional partnerships with California's Community Colleges to bolster college access and degree completion. While each assumes a different form, these regional collaborations among school districts, institutions of higher education, government and the private sector help foster a college-going culture in our public schools, make college affordable and set students on dedicated pathways to quality jobs. Together, these partners unite communities around a common vision of closing the achievement gap and increasing college graduation rates.

Lt. Governor Newsom contributed to legislative efforts to secure $15 million for the California College Promise Innovation Awards in the 2016-17 state budget to spur the launch of Promise Programs across the state. And at the launch of the ambitious Oakland Promise, Lieutenant Governor Newsom voiced his support for the "California College Promise" legislative package, a collection of bills announced by Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside), Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, that provides funding to community colleges to establish regional Promise Programs, expands the Cal Grant financial aid program for community college students, and increases access to the Board of Governor's (BOG) Fee Waiver program.

California has the most progressive "free community college tuition" plan in the nation; nearly 70% of full-time community college students do not pay tuition through the BOG Fee Waiver.

In 2008, then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom launched the San Francisco Promise in partnership with San Francisco State University and the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). Since the program began, the number of freshmen enrolled at SF State from SFUSD high schools has grown by 52 percent. In October 2010, Mayor Newsom launched Kindergarten to College (K2C), the nation's first universal children's savings account program, designed to put all children on the path to college.

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