In the News

SF Chronicle: To avoid UC tuition hikes, Legislature should look at SB15

December 04, 2014

A new twist in the long-running saga of UC tuition emerged this week, as the state Senate unveiled a plan to increase higher education funding.

The proposal, SB15, is generous — it would cost between $342 million and $434 million through 2018. By providing enough money to eliminate the need for tuition hikes, funding more Cal Grant scholarships, and funding more spots for students at both UC and CSU, SB15 is an answer to many of the state’s long-running concerns about the high cost and low capacity in higher education. But there is, as always, a catch.

New law allows California community colleges to offer 4-year degrees

October 09, 2014

California Economy Reporting
By Michelle Bergmann

Starting next fall California’s community colleges will take a step up in higher education. As part of a pilot program, 15 selected community colleges will offer four-year bachelor degrees in specialty fields like information management, technology or dental hygiene.

“That’s fantastic! I wish that program was going around when I was a freshman,” said Alex Carter a third-year student at Santa Monica City College studying digital media and art history.

New Water Test Could Quickly Reopen Closed Beaches

August 01, 2014

Times of San Diego

Posted by Chris Jennewein

San Diego political, business and environmental leaders rallied Friday to urge passage of a state Senate bill that would allow use of a new four-hour water test to more quickly reopen beaches closed by pollution.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Marty Block, would allow local heath officers to use a new polymerase chain reaction testing method that is approved by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The current tests take at least 24 hours and sometimes as long as 96 hours.

Alicia Silverstone Backs Resolution to End Animal Testing

July 16, 2014


by Natalia Galbetti July 16, 2014

Alicia Silverstone is standing by her home state of California as it fights against animal testing.

The actress, whose best selling books ‘The Kind Life’ and ‘The Kind Mama’ promote a vegan and cruelty free lifestyle, joined the organization Cruelty Free International’s campaign to end animal testing in the United States.

California community colleges may soon offer bachelor’s degrees

June 21, 2014

By Josh Dulaney, The Daily Breeze
Posted: 06/21/14, 7:28 PM PDT |

Up to 15 community colleges could start offering a bachelor’s degree next year under a bill working its way through the state Assembly.

Senate Bill 850, introduced by state Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego, would authorize California Community Colleges, in consultation with the California State University and University of California systems, to launch the baccalaureate degree pilot program Jan. 1.

Sacramento Bee Editorial: California’s community colleges re-opening door to those shut out during Great Recession

March 24, 2014

By the Editorial Board

California’s 112 community college campuses were forced to turn away about a half million students during the Great Recession. Their budgets were cut, forcing them to slash classes.

Now that things are better, they want to get those students back.

Renewed push to let community colleges award bachelor’s degrees

February 18, 2014

From EdSource: By Kathryn Baron

When Michigan granted community colleges the authority to confer baccalaureate degrees a year ago, it became the 21st state to do so. An effort is under way to make California No. 22.

Senate Bill 850 by Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego, would create an eight-year pilot program allowing each of the state’s 112 community colleges to offer one degree known as an applied baccalaureate.

SFGate: California community colleges could offer bachelor's degrees

February 02, 2014

Tamara Martin, a nursing student at College of San Mateo, desperately wants a bachelor's degree in her field, so she applied to Cal State East Bay because it had 60 open spots and would surely have room. But 199 people had the same idea.

As demand for bachelor's degrees grows in health professions, information technology and law enforcement, also growing is pressure on California lawmakers to let community colleges offer bachelor's degrees in high-need areas. One bill introduced in January could have students enrolling in such programs by fall 2015 if approved.