October 15, 2019

Contact: Christina Jimenez


T 916.322.4004

SACRAMENTO, Calif.California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley issued the following statement on the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor’s introduction of the College Affordability Act:

“I applaud efforts by the House to undertake a comprehensive effort to reauthorize and modernize the Higher Education Act to meet the needs of today’s college students.

The California Community Colleges Board of Governors set forward its Vision for Success focused on better meeting the social and economic needs of the state and its residents by increasing the number of students from all backgrounds who meet their transfer and career goals and eliminating regional gaps in attainment. The College Affordability Act helps bolster these efforts and those of states and communities across the country by:  increasing funding for Pell grants to help students meet the full costs of college; providing new on-ramps for working learners, undocumented individuals, and justice-involved individuals to new build knowledge and skills that support career and educational advancement; supporting the needs of today’s college students by simplifying and streamlining access to federal student aid and better connecting learners to comprehensive supports like food, housing, and childcare; honoring and encouraging the critical investments made by states like California to keep college affordable through a stronger state-federal partnership; providing new resources that supports evidence-based completion strategies at community colleges and extends mandatory funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions; streamlining data collection and upgrading federal data systems to provide quality, accurate information needed for colleges and students and families and reduce institutional reporting burden; and raising the bar on the quality outcomes students deserve through greater accountability for colleges that defraud students and/or leave students with unaffordable debts and poor workforce outcomes.

The College Affordability Act makes critical investments and changes that can unlock the talent potential of more Americans to achieve greater social and economic mobility and we look forward to working with Congress in the coming weeks and months to further strengthen and improve this important bill as it moves through the legislative process.”

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 115 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.