Ting Legislation to Increase Cal Grant B Awards Passes Assembly

For immediate release:

AB 1364 Increases Awards to Reflect Real Costs of Textbooks

Sacramento – Assemblymember Philip Y. Ting (D-San Francisco) successfully urged his Assembly colleagues to help all college students achieve their goals by passing AB 1364, his legislation that would raise Cal Grant B awards to more closely align with the real costs of textbooks and supplies.

“This year in California, there are nearly 180,000 students whose decision on whether they can afford to attend or stay in college will hinge on Cal Grant assistance,” Ting said. “The Assembly budget proposal shows our strong commitment to helping these students make the right choice to get a college degree.”

AB 1364 reverses the budget-related five percent reduction in Cal Grant B awards imposed last year and brings the stipend back up to $1,710 (the most recent estimated average cost of books and supplies).  It also requires adjustment to the stipend annually based on changes in the California Consumer Price Index.

“Education is the great equalizer, and Cal Grant awards allow students, regardless of background, the opportunity to achieve higher education,” Ting said. “But the important Cal Grant B awards, the awards that cover critical expenses like housing, transportation, food and textbooks have not kept pace with the rising costs of those essential items. AB 1364 will help students pay for the average costs of books and supplies, and set the stage for award growth going forward.”

Cal Grants B awards have been helping the most qualified, lowest income students with an additional living expense stipend since the ‘60s. As costs increased, the award grew steadily through the ‘90s to a point where it covered approximately 20 percent of the indirect costs of attending college. The awards have declined every year since, and reached an all-time percentage low last year when the award dipped well below the average cost of textbooks alone.

Assemblymember Ting is the Chair of Assembly Democratic Caucus and the Assembly Select Committee on Asia/California Trade and Investment Promotion, and he serves on the Budget, Business, Professions and Consumer Protection, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials and the Revenue and Taxation committees.