The district’s yearly advocacy brief listed its goals and hopes for the new year.
By Matthew Royer, News Editor
With a new legislative season upon the state and federal governments, the LACCD released its yearly advocacy brief titled “Education Matters.”
With three-of-seven board of trustees seats up for grabs in November, Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez laid out a general plan in his brief released on March 4 to show how the district will push for specific acquirable goals for its nine campuses and point out how its community succeeded in the past year. Then, looking forward to the new year, the chancellor focused on “recent commitments” made by President Joe Biden, Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislators in both the state and federal houses.
“LACCD is a remarkable and resilient district,” wrote Rodriguez in the brief. “I look forward to collaborating with our internal and external constituencies as we move toward achieving our many legislative and budgetary goals this coming year.”
Rodriguez is coming off an electoral victory for the district, with former LACCD Board of Trustees member Mike Fong winning California’s 49th Assembly District, according to LAist. With the victory, the newest assemblymember quickly submitted legislation to the two state houses, the first of which has been endorsed by the LACCD in the advocacy brief. AB 1964, which looks to advance the correspondence on Ethnic Studies courses between California Community Colleges and California State University campuses, is one of six legislative priorities for the district in 2022.
The other five priorities include an expansion of California Promise, as previously reported by The Star, establishing a California Center for Climate Change Education at West LA College, equitably funding first responder education services, a “Corrections to Career” program for previously incarcerated students and a bill that looks to allow Promise students to receive free tuition at CSUs to finish their Bachelor’s Degree.
Federally, the LACCD is looking to continue its support of the protection of DACA students nationwide, ensuring that “students have the resources to meet basic needs,” expanding the Pell Grant award and pushing for “global competitiveness” in manufacturing.
In his message, Rodriguez offered to share the words of Jill Biden, the first lady of the United States and current community college English professor. While visiting the White House recently the first lady gave a speech to a district delegation in which she focused on connecting community college to the middle class and called upon the LACCD to “keep fighting” as it looks forward to this upcoming year.
With a surplus in the state government, the district also supports a “base allocation” in the state budget that will “address the rising costs of running a college.”
Over the past year, the district listed a few federal policy accomplishments that Rodriguez hopes will push the district into “another impactful and positive year for community colleges.” These policies included $1.7 million in funding for biotech programs, in which Valley College was allocated funds to “expand” and “increase access” for the initiative.
“Recognizing that community colleges are engines of innovation, access and opportunity, our elected representatives have continued their investments in our colleges to help our state’s economy recover equitably and inclusively,” said Rodriguez.