California Grants $200M to College Readiness

STATE GRANTS TO CURE THOSE SENIOR BLUES: Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the 2016-17 state budget into law, including $200 million in a college readiness block grant. School districts, county offices of education and charter schools will use the funds over the next three years to provide additional support to students in the transition to higher education. The money will be used for professional development for teachers, counseling services and even partnerships between high schools and postsecondary institutions.

When the funding was first proposed in an April amendment to State Senate Bill 1050, Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity said in a press release, “We have bright young students who are eager to learn and everyday are defying the odds by wanting to become the first in their families to go to college. These are the very young people that will carry California into the future—they are our future health care providers, engineers, teachers, entrepreneurs. But their future is contingent on our resolve to make sure they have an equal shot at succeeding regardless of where they live or their economic status.”

Allocation per school will be determined by the number of English learners, foster youth and low-income students in grades 9 to 12, though no school district or charter school will receive less than $75,000. The $200 million grand is part of Proposition 98, which guarantees minimum levels of funding for K-12 education in the state. This year the proposition’s funding for K-12 education increased $3.5 billion from the 2015-16 budget to $71.9 billion.

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