Date: August 15, 2020
Contact: Stephen Kodur, President; Andrew Nickens VP Legislative Affairs
E-Mail: President@studentsenateccc.org; VPLA@studentsenateccc.org
SSCCC Responds to the Chancellor’s Office Memo Regarding the
COVID-19 Response Block Grant and Empowers Students
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – On August 3, 2020, the California Community College Chancellor’s Office released memo FS-20-08 outlining guidance on the disbursement of the $120 million block grant, included in the 2020 Budget Act, provided to districts based on enrollment to support student learning and mitigate learning loss related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Budget Act also included language that districts prioritize services for underrepresented students and specified allowable uses for the expenditure of these funds including reengagement strategies for incompletes or fails in Spring 2020; grants to faculty to develop online, accelerated learning modules for incompletes and fails; professional development opportunities for faculty and student services professionals; investments to close the digital divide; support to address other barriers such as access to basic needs and mental health services; and cleaning supplies and PPE.
To empower student leaders to effectively advocate for their students’ needs on a local level, the SSCCC has disseminated a sample resolution student body associations can pass to urge their districts to prioritize their student needs. “Traditionally the student voice is not included in budget decision making processes at the district level. However during a time when 70% percent of students have lost all or some of their income as noted in the California Student Aid Commission Spring 2020 Covid-19 Student Survey and the State of California is facing an unprecedented budget crisis affecting district revenue, student voices need to be included in districts’ decisions to expend the COVID-19 Response Block Grant funds” Vice President of Legislative Affairs.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. The Student Senate for California Community Colleges works to promote and safeguard access for current and future students to California public higher education in accordance with the Master Plan for Higher Education through system participatory governance, legislative and policy advocacy, and regional support and development and is the official voice of California community college students statewide.
To explain the block grant and share how students can get their share of the funds, the SSCCC also created a slideshow presentation.