President/Superintendent's Blog

CR's August 13, 2021 Times Standard Article

Published on 8/10/2021.

On September 15th, Californians will start receiving ballots in the mail for the recall election of Governor Newsom. The ballot contains two questions. First, should Governor Newsom be recalled, and second, if he is recalled, who should replace him?

There are 46 candidates running against the Governor, many of whom have no prior government experience. If a majority of Californians votes to recall Newson, the candidate who gets the most votes wins — even if they have less than a majority. Gavin Newsom is also up for reelection in 2022, which means that California will spend $276 million on a recall election that could have been decided by regular vote a year later.

This Education Matters article will not speak to whether Governor Newsom should be recalled or who should replace him if the recall is successful. It is not my intention to support one political perspective over the other, but the purpose of the weekly Education Matters column, in my view, is to update our community about CR and HSU and to advocate for education. To this end, I would like to highlight and thank the Newsom administration and California State Legislature for the historic contributions they made to higher education with the 2021-22 budget agreement.

Here are just some ways the state budget has prioritized education, especially at the community college level:

  • Committed $47.1 billion for the University of California (UC), California State University (CSU), California Community Colleges (CCC) and student financial aid.
  • Expanded college savings accounts for 3.7 million low-income students.
  • Expanded the Cal Grant program for community college students by eliminating the age and time-out-of-high-school requirements, which allows the funding to follow students to the UC and CSU upon transfer.
  • Provided $50 million for Guided Pathways programs to help community college students graduate on time, and support equity-focused programs to bridge equity gaps.
  • Established a dual admissions program that provides eligible first-time freshman applicants the opportunity for guaranteed admission to the UC or CSU campus of their choice following completion of an Associate Degree for Transfer or another transfer pathway at a community college.
  • Invested $1.45 billion to pay down the California Community Colleges deferrals (debts) that were a result of the COVID-19 emergency.
  • Provided $2 billion in one-time funding for student housing and $115 million for Zero-Textbook-Cost Degree grant programs and open educational resources at California Community Colleges.
  • Invested $100 million in ongoing funding to increase the number of full-time faculty members across California’s community colleges and $90 million in one-time funding to increase office hours of part-time faculty. 

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention the $458 million in one-time dollars and $25 million in ongoing funding to support HSU’s transition into the CSU system’s third polytechnic university and Northern California’s first polytechnic institution. As President Jackson said in his July 13 Humboldt State University press release, “this historic investment will be transformational for our institution, and it will revitalize this region for decades into the future.”

I want to add that the Board of Trustees and I know that this funding will be transformational for College of Redwoods and our students as well. I know that together we will work to develop closely linked polytechnic-focused degrees and certificates that will reinvigorate our community and lay the foundation for a strong engine for our economy.

Although, as I stated at the outset, this article is not meant as an endorsement of one political party over another, I did want to point out that we have been granted great support by this administration, and with 46 candidates vying for the Governorship, it is not guaranteed we will see these investments again. Therefore, I want to end it with an encouragement to vote—period. This election is as important as any other. As former President Barack Obama said “There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter. It all matters.”


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