Assembly Education Budget Sub-Committee Approves “Degrees Not Debt” Budget Package

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Assembly Education Budget Sub-Committee Approves

“Degrees Not Debt” Budget Package


(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Following yesterday’s announcement of the Degrees Not Debt budget package by Assembly Democrats, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, Chaired by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D – Sacramento) today approved the most progressive higher education budget package in the nation, designed to reduce student debt and make college affordability a reality for the nearly 2.8 million undergraduate students in California’s University of California (UC), California State University (CSU) and California Community College (CCC) systems.


These proposals build on years of work by Assembly Democrats to expand access and increase affordability at California’s public colleges and universities. Specifically, the “Degrees Not Debt” budget package:


1.     Makes Community Colleges ‘tuition free’ for one year for any full time in-state student.

2.     Expands the successful ‘Success Grants’ program for low income CCC students.

3.     Rejects Governor Brown’s proposal to eliminate the ‘Middle Class Scholarship’.

4.     Creates the ’Degrees Not Debt Scholarship’ to address non-tuition related costs for low and middle class students attending the UC or CSU.


“Today’s budget action is a bold statement to expand access and increase affordability at all of California’s public colleges and universities,” said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D – Sacramento). “The Degrees Not Debt Scholarship is California’s most progressive effort to date to help eliminate the debt burden of lower and middle class college students. California is once again leading the nation in making debt free college a reality.”


A December 2016 Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll affirmed the work of Assembly Democrats by finding a strong majority of California residents believe that college affordability is a big problem and nearly half of all Californians mention affordability, cost, or student tuition and fees as the most important issue facing the state’s public colleges and universities.


“We stand with students seeking their dreams and parents struggling to provide their kids with a college education.  Making degrees without debt a reality will free young people to achieve even more success and stability in life,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee.  “Getting into college is challenging.  Figuring out how to pay for it should not be a barrier.  Access to aid dramatically increases the odds students enroll in college and graduate.  This package opens doors of opportunity for many deserving students.”


Collectively, the, “Degrees Not Debt” budget package will create the most progressive public investment in higher education in the United States and will highlight one of the Assembly Democratic Caucus’ most important budget and policy priorities: making college more accessible and affordable to every student and family in California.


Social Media:

#DegreesNotDebt #CADebtFreeCollege #CALeg


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Kevin McCarty represents California’s 7th Assembly District, which include the cities and communities of Antelope, Elverta, North Highlands, Rio Linda, Sacramento and West Sacramento. McCarty serves as Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance.