Legislative Updates

1. Introduction

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) is the voice of the faculty of California’s 113 Community Colleges regarding academic and professional matters.  In fulfilling this role, one of the ASCCC’s important functions is to represent faculty positions to the governor, the legislature, and other government agencies regarding potential, proposed, or chaptered legislation.  The ASCCC accomplishes this function through legislative visits, written communication, cooperation with system partners, and other methods.

The intent of this page is to keep faculty statewide informed regarding the ASCCC’s positions and activities regarding legislation and legislative actions.  Here you will find copies of communications sent by the ASCCC President to legislators, the governor, and others as well as other updates on legislative activity.  We hope that this information will help to enable local senates in fulfilling their own roles in representing faculty in their districts and on their campuses.

2. Resources

Legislative Tracker:

To follow current legislation, the ASCCC recommends using the tracker on the FACCC web site.  It can be found here.

Additional useful information regarding legislative activity can be found on the governmental relations tab of the website of the Community College League of California, which can be found here.

3. What We Do To Represent You

The ASCCC represents the faculty of California’s Community Colleges regarding legislation and legislative issues in various ways. 

Several times each year, Academic Senate representatives take part in “legislative days” on which they hold a series of meetings with various legislators or their aids to express faculty perspectives and positions on pending or potential legislation.  These activities are typically conducted as joint ventures with the Senate’s academic partners, including representatives of the CSU and UC faculty leadership, the Chancellor’s Office, the Board of Governors, The Student Senate for California Community Colleges, and other statewide organizations.

A similar activity in which the ASCCC participates may involve advocacy regarding a specific piece of legislation.  In this case, ASCCC representatives may form part of a panel with system partners such as the Community College League of California (CCLC), the faculty unions, and others.  The panel holds a series of interviews with legislators and legislative aids over the course of a day, delivering a common and consistent message on the bill in question in an attempt to sway the votes in the legislature.

The ASCCC also frequently sends written statements of support or opposition for specific bills to members of the legislature, legislative committees, and the governor.  These letters may be the sole work of the ASCCC or may be composed jointly with our university colleagues or with other organizations.

The ASCCC also testifies before bodies such as the Education Committees of the legislature, the Little Hoover Commission, and others.   In this role, ASCCC representatives deliver formal statements and answer questions regarding faculty positions and makes arguments in favor of or against specific bills or policy directions. 

Finally, ASCCC representatives may work less formally to communicate faculty positions and views to the legislature.  In Sacramento, numerous opportunities arise in which faculty leaders may speak individually to legislators or legislative staff at various types of events and meetings.  ASCCC representatives take advantage of any opportunity to express faculty views and present faculty positions.

4. How ASCCC Differs from Local Academic Senates

In terms of legislative advocacy and lobbying, the rules governing the ASCCC and local academic senates differ.  For the purpose of understanding these rules, lobbying is essentially a subset of advocacy.  Advocacy involves active support for a cause, idea or policy and is a general term involving a broad set of activities.  Lobbying is an attempt to influence specific legislation and is defined by the IRS as well as various states and localities, often because of the limitations on the ways in which funds can be used for lobbying purposes. 

The restrictions and guidelines for local academic senate activities are defined by California Education Code sections 7050-7068.   The following excerpt from “Advocacy at the Local Level:  What Your Senate Can Do to Stay Informed and Active,” published in the November 2103 Senate Rostrum, explains the activities in which local academic senate can and cannot engage:

Ed Code section 7054 (a) states that “No school district or community college district funds, services, supplies, or equipment shall be used for the purpose of urging the support or defeat of any ballot measure or candidate, including, but not limited to, any candidate for election to the governing board of the district.”  In short, academic senates cannot use any district resources to support or oppose any candidate or ballot measure.  This restriction applies not only to district funds but also to materials, email, and even employee time when the employee is scheduled to work.  Any discussion of ballot measures or elections among senators therefore should not take place on campus or during academic senate meetings.

However, Ed Code section 7054 (b) adds that “Nothing in this section shall prohibit the use of any of the public resources described in subdivision (a) to provide information to the public about the possible effects of any bond issue or other ballot measure if both of the following conditions are met:  (1) The informational activities are otherwise authorized by the Constitution or laws of this state. (2) The information provided constitutes a fair and impartial presentation of relevant facts to aid the electorate in reaching an informed judgment regarding the bond issue or ballot measure.”  Academic senates may therefore publish information to educate the public regarding the impact of a given ballot measure as long as they do not advocate either for or against the measure.

Legislative Positions

Datesort descending Bill Author ASCCC Position Summary Position Letter
May 16, 2018 AB 2621 Medina Support The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges wishes to express our support for AB 2621 (Medina, as of April 10, 2018), which would require the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) to conduct a study on the feasibility of creating an exclusively online California community college and report its findings to the Legislature on or before July 1, 2019. PDF icon AB 2621 Suport Letter
May 16, 2018 AB 2767 Medina Support The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges wishes to express our support for AB 2767 (Medina, as of April 4, 2018), which calls for the Legislative Analyst’s Office to conduct a study of the funding formula used by the California Community Colleges for the 2017–18 fiscal year, submit a report to the Legislature containing its findings from the study, and provide recommendations as to various funding formula models the Legislature may wish to adopt for use by the California Community Colleges. PDF icon AB 2767 Support Letter
May 16, 2018 SB 1009 Wilk Support SB 1009 (Wilk, as of April 3, 2018) would allow districts to claim apportionment for tutoring in all subjects and would expand tutoring services for students in need of academic support. The bill also allows students to self-refer for tutoring, in addition to teacher referral, which would remove a significant barrier to obtaining access to tutoring. Numerous studies demonstrated the positive effects of expanded tutoring on student success - the more academic support students receive, the more likely they are to pass their courses and stay enrolled. The value of learning support and tutoring services to student success cannot be overestimated given the various levels of preparation our students bring to the classroom. PDF icon SB 1009 Support Letter
May 21, 2018 Community College Budget Proposal 6870-101-0001 Opposed Establishment of a fully online community college: While some of the changes are proposed to clarify portions of the online college proposal, the underlying basis for establishing a separate fully online college remains problematic. As such, the Academic Senate remains opposed. Change to Funding Formula: The Academic Senate remains opposed to the change in the community college formula despite the changes in the May Revise. Performance based funding, even at 20 percent, represents a misdirected approach which is likely to harm students and magnify regional achievement gaps and equity gaps. Moreover, the point system presented by the May Revise is likely to disincentivize important Career Technical Education in favor of traditional transfer courses. PDF icon May Revise 2018 Letter.pdf
January 14, 2019 Expansion of Cal Grants Support The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges wishes to express our support for the expansion of Cal Grant eligibility to more low-income students and an increase to award amounts based on the total cost of attendance. PDF icon Cal Grant Letter of Support
February 28, 2019 Revising the “Student Centered Funding Formula” to Incentivize Student-Focused Outcomes If the state wishes to continue performance-based funding, the ASCCC has three requests to improve the formula: 1. Level the point system for associate degree awards so that all educational goals and achievements of comparable unit values are counted equally. 2. Award colleges only once per year per student for the highest award achieved as a means of prioritizing per-student success, as opposed to incentivizing maximizing awards more generally. 3. Keep the performance metric portion set at 10% of the total allocation to ensure funding stability and to support college exploration of how best to serve students. PDF icon Revising the Student Centered Funding Formula
April 8, 2019 SB 462 Stern Oppose unless amended The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) is writing to express its reluctant opposition to SB462 unless the bill is amended to address specific concerns. SB462 would require the Chancellor’s Office of the California Community Colleges, working in collaboration with the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, to establish a model curriculum for a forestland restoration workforce program that could be offered at campuses of the California Community Colleges. PDF icon SB462 Community Colleges Forestland Restoration Workforce Program
May 6, 2019 AB 302 Berman Support The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges is writing to express our support for AB 302 (Berman, as of 25 March 2019), which “would require a community college campus that has parking facilities on campus to grant overnight access to those facilities, on or before July 1, 2020, to any homeless student who is enrolled in coursework, has paid any enrollment fees that have not been waived, and is in good standing with the community college, for the purpose of sleeping in the student’s vehicle overnight” and “would require the governing board of the community college district to determine a plan of action to implement this requirement, as specified.” This position reflects the collective wisdom of the 60,000 faculty of the California Community Colleges system as expressed at our organization’s 2019 Spring Plenary Session through Resolution 6.04 SP19 (https://www.asccc.org/resolutions/support-ab-302-berman-march252019-and-identify-housing-assistance-representatives). PDF icon Letter of Support for AB 302
May 6, 2019 SB 3 Allen Support The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges is writing to express our support for SB 3 (Allen, as of 1 May 2019), which would “establish the Office of Higher Education Performance and Accountability as the statewide postsecondary education coordination and planning entity,” as well as our gratitude for the amendments added to the bill in March and April. PDF icon Letter of Support for SB 3
May 6, 2019 Support The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges wishes to express its support for the expansion of funding in order to support a greater number of student parents and to provide academic preparation for teachers and related child development professions. PDF icon Letter of Support for Student Parents' Success