Amended in Assembly March 31, 2016

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 2434

Introduced by Assembly Members Bonta and Ting

February 19, 2016

An act tobegin delete repeal Section 66010.6end deletebegin insert add and repeal Chapter 11.1 (commencing with Section 66910) of Part 40 of Division 5 of Title 3end insert of the Education Code, relating to postsecondary education.


AB 2434, as amended, Bonta. Postsecondary education: higher education policy.

Existing law, the Donahoe Higher Education Act, sets forth the missions and functions of the 4 segments comprising the state’s postsecondary education system. These segments are the University of California, administered by the Regents of the University of California, the California State University, administered by the Trustees of the California State University, the California Community Colleges, administered by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, and independent institutions of higher education.begin delete A provision of the act sets forth the missions of specified agencies charged with coordination, administration, or implementation of higher education policies and programs.end delete

This bill wouldbegin delete delete this provision, and would express the intent of the Legislature to explore alternative ways to improve affordability, accessibility, coordination, and development of higher education policy that are consistent with the interest of the people and State of California.end deletebegin insert establish the 9-member Blue Ribbon Commission on Public Postsecondary Education, and specify its membership and duties. The bill would require the commission to publish a report on designated subjects and submit this report to designated governmental entities by March 31, 2018. The bill would require the Office of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Public Postsecondary Education to close on June 30, 2018, and would repeal the provisions of the bill on January 1, 2019. The bill would require, upon that repeal, all of the documents and working papers of the commission to become the property of the State Archives.end insert

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: begin deleteno end deletebegin insertyesend insert. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1begin insert

begin insertSECTION 1.end insert  

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The Legislature finds and declares all of the

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(a) More universal participation in postsecondary education in
4California is of vital public interest to ensure an informed citizenry,
5a functional democracy, a vibrant workforce, and a leading 21st
6century economy.

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(b) Communities of color now comprise the new majority of
8California high school pupils. As cited by the University of
9California in an amicus brief filed in Fisher v. University of Texas,
10in 2012 high school graduates were 46.2 percent Latino, 30.5
11percent white, 13.6 percent Asian or Pacific Islander, 6.7 percent
12African American, and 0.7 percent Native American.

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(c) Despite outreach programs and other efforts, historically
14disadvantaged groups remain underrepresented. These groups
15include communities of color, immigrants, LGBTQ students,
16individuals from low-income and working class communities, and
17others with unique needs.

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(d) Long-term trends with tuition increases across California’s
19public four-year universities have made college less affordable.
20Resident tuition and fees at the University of California (UC) and
21California State University (CSU) have risen by 139 percent and
22157 percent, respectively, from the 2003-04 academic year to the
232013-14 academic year, inclusive. These increases are
24significantly higher than 91 percent, which is the national average
25for public four-year universities over the same time period,
26according to the California State University, Sacramento, Institute
27for Higher Education Leadership and Policy.

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P3    1
(e) The full price of college beyond tuition, including the costs
2of books, room and board, and other expenses, is a significant
3barrier and burden for students from low- and middle-income
4families. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, in
52011-2012, the average nontuition cost of attending UC was
6$17,264, or 57 percent of the total cost, and the average nontuition
7cost of attending CSU was $12,781, or 66 percent of the total cost.

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(f) California’s Master Plan for Higher Education was submitted
9to the Legislature in 1960. The Master Plan was developed to
10provide a thoughtful statewide framework for higher education
11and sought to ensure universal access to higher education. This
12latter goal made California unique among the states and led to
13the creation of the most prominent higher education system in the
14nation and the world, a model that was replicated and revered.
15Undergirding this system and essential to its success was the
16commitment of California’s investment. Today, that commitment
17has changed as state resources that could have been made
18available for higher education have increasingly been dedicated
19to incarceration. According to the Public Policy Institute of
20California, from 2003 to 2010, inclusive, California’s prison
21population grew only 1 percent, while general fund expenditures
22on corrections increased by 26 percent.

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(g) The Public Policy Institute of California projects that the
24state will fall short about 1,100,000 college graduates who will
25be in economic demand by 2030 if enrollment and graduation rates
26do not increase, and that highly educated workers from outside
27California are unlikely to fill this gap.

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(h) Since 2012, when the California Postsecondary Education
29Commission was defunded, California has lacked a coordinating
30body for postsecondary education. The absence of such a body
31has reduced the ability of the state to effectively develop long-term
32plans for public postsecondary education and to fully engage with
33the public in the development of such plans.

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(i) The Governor has acknowledged the well-established need
35for coordinating and guiding state higher education policy and
36has encouraged higher education stakeholders to explore
37alternative ways to more effectively improve coordination and
38development of higher education policy.

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(j) Given this, and to ensure full and equitable accessibility to
40higher and postsecondary education, California must create and
P4    1fund a Blue Ribbon Commission on Public Postsecondary
2 Education to develop a written plan to ensure that public
3universities and colleges in California are tuition-free and
4affordable to all students, including low-income and
5underrepresented students, and have the capacity to provide
6universal participation for all high school graduates by the year

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8begin insert

begin insertSEC. 2.end insert  

end insert

begin insertChapter 11.1 (commencing with Section 66910) is
9added to Part 40 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the end insert
begin insertEducation Codeend insertbegin insert,
10to read:end insert

begin insert


12Chapter  begin insert11.1.end insert Blue Ribbon Commission on Public
13Postsecondary Education



begin insert66910.end insert  

(a) There is hereby created the Blue Ribbon
16Commission on Public Postsecondary Education. The purpose of
17the commission is to make recommendations on improving access
18to and affordability in postsecondary education for Californians.

(b) (1) There shall be nine public members of the commission,
20who shall be California residents who are community leaders,
21business leaders, and others knowledgeable in the area of
22postsecondary education. The nine public members shall be
23representative of the cultural, ethnic, racial, and geographic
24diversity of the state. The members are as follows:

(A) Three members from the public appointed by the Governor.

(B) Three members from the public appointed by the Senate
27Committee on Rules.

(C) Three members from the public appointed by the Speaker
29of the Assembly.

(2) The Governor may designate any one of the nine members
31appointed to the commission to serve as temporary chairperson
32of the commission for its first meeting. The first order of business
33of the commission shall be to elect a permanent chairperson.

(c) Commission meetings are subject to the Bagley-Keene Open
35Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of
36Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government

(d) Members of the commission shall serve without
39compensation, but shall receive reimbursement for actual and
P5    1necessary expenses incurred in connection with the performance
2of their duties as members.

(e) No person who is employed or retained by any public or
4private postsecondary educational institution shall be appointed
5to or serve on the commission. No person who is a spouse or
6domestic partner of an employee, an officer, or retained by a public
7or private postsecondary educational institution shall be appointed
8to serve on the commission.

(f) (1) There shall be an office titled the Office of the Blue
10Ribbon Commission on Public Postsecondary Education. The
11office shall do all of the following:

(A) Implement the duties and directives of the commission.

(B) Consult with the higher education segments and
14stakeholders, as appropriate, in the conduct of its duties and

(2) The office may request and receive information necessary
17to conduct its business, from the higher education segments, the
18Department of Finance, the Legislative Analyst’s Office, and the
19Student Aid Commission.

(3) For purposes of this subdivision, “higher education
21segments” means the segments described in Section 66010.95.
22Higher education stakeholders include, but are not necessarily
23limited to, postsecondary faculty, staff, and students, K-12
24representatives, representatives of the business community,
25representatives of labor, representatives of community-based
26organizations, and nonprofit organizations.

(g) (1) The office shall be established in state government, and
28shall be under the direct control of an executive director.

(2) The commission shall appoint the executive director at a
30salary that shall be fixed pursuant to Section 12001 of the
31Government Code.

(3) The commission shall select and designate a state
33administrative agency to carry out the personnel, contractual, and
34all other fiscal services required by the commission.

(h) The duties of the commission shall include, but need not be
36limited to, the review of relevant reports by the University of
37California, the California State University, the Board of Governors
38of the California Community Colleges, the Student Aid
39Commission, the Department of Finance, the Legislative Analyst’s
40Office, foundations or nonprofit organizations, the California
P6    1Postsecondary Education Commission, or any other reports the
2commission deems appropriate.

(i) The commission shall conduct a series of at least 10 public
4hearings specifically focused on the needs of and seeking input
5from African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, Asian
6Americans, Pacific Islanders, boys and men of color,
7undocumented immigrants, LGBTQ students, and other
8underserved or underrepresented groups in public postsecondary
9education. The hearings shall be held in geographically diverse
10regions of the state to solicit testimony of individuals, public
11interest groups, alumni organizations, or any other interested
12private groups and organizations as well as professors,
13administrators, students, representatives from historically
14underrepresented groups in public higher education, and others
15who are directly affected for the purpose of soliciting the input of
16these groups in the formulations of the commission’s

(j) In addition, the commission shall, at a minimum, study,
19analyze, issue written recommendations, and report to the
20Legislature and to the Governor on all of the following:

(1) Establishing the need to create a public postsecondary
22education system that ensures universal access with the capacity
23to support universal participation of all high school graduates in

(2) Identifying the current enrollment capacity in public
26postsecondary education as compared to the enrollment capacity
27needed in public postsecondary education to ensure universal
28access and universal participation for all high school graduates
29in California.

(3) Identifying the enrollment slots needed to ensure the state’s
31public postsecondary education system can graduate an additional
321,100,000 California residents by 2030 to meet the economic
33demands of the state.

(4) Determining the number of additional campuses needed, if
35any, in each of the public postsecondary education segments to
36accommodate the additional enrollment demands described in
37paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive. The commission shall consider
38geographic areas of the state where a significant demand for public
39postsecondary educational services is not being met by current
40campuses and programs.

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(5) Ensuring that enrollments in public postsecondary
2institutions reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of California
3high school pupils and high school graduates. The commission
4shall identify admission criteria, student outreach, student
5preparation, student retention, and other mechanisms that can
6promote this diversity.

(6) Ensuring equity for historically disadvantaged and
8underrepresented groups that include, but are not limited to,
9communities of color, documented and undocumented immigrants,
10individuals from low-income and working-class backgrounds,
11LGBTQ people, and others with unique needs.

(7) Determining the amount of increased investments in public
13postsecondary education necessary to support a mission of
14universal access and participation of all Californians. The
15increased investments shall take into account the additional
16resources needed to support the recommendations pursuant to
17paragraphs (2) to (6), inclusive. These recommendations shall
18identify expenditure requirements to support this objective and
19recommend additional revenue sources to finance this mission.

(8) The resources required to create an affordable and
21tuition-free education system in the California public
22postsecondary environment, with a first priority on supporting
23those students with the lowest incomes and least financial
24resources. This task shall include an analysis of not only tuition
25and fees, but a focus on additional college costs, such as books
26and supplies, food, housing, transportation, loan fees, child and
27dependent care, and other costs. The analysis shall incorporate
28the availability of federal, state, and campus-based financial aid
29efforts to offset these additional college costs to determine the
30extra resources needed to support all low-income and
31underrepresented California resident students.

(k) The commission shall publish its report by March 31, 2018.
33The report shall be transmitted to the fiscal and education policy
34committees of the Legislature, the Regents of the University of
35California, the Trustees of the California State University, the
36Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, the
37Director of Finance, and the Governor. Copies of the report shall
38be posted on the Governor’s Internet Web site.

(l) The office shall close no later than June 30, 2018.

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begin insert66911.end insert  

This chapter shall remain in effect only until January
21, 2019, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
3statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2019, deletes or extends
4that date.

end insert
5begin insert

begin insertSEC. 3.end insert  

end insert
begin insert

Upon the repeal of Section 66910 of the Education
6Code, all of the documents and working papers of the Blue Ribbon
7Commission on Public Postsecondary Education shall become the
8property of the State Archives.

end insert
begin delete


It is the intent of the Legislature to explore
10alternative ways to improve affordability, accessibility,
11coordination, and development of higher education policy that are
12consistent with the interest of the people and State of California.

end delete
begin delete13

SEC. 2.  

Section 66010.6 of the Education Code is repealed.

end delete