LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated an important victory for education today after Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1456, which will improve students’ prospects for success by providing critical support services when they begin college.
The L.A. Area Chamber advocated strongly on behalf of SB 1456 and its predecessor, SB 1143 (Liu), which the Chamber sponsored. SB 1143 directed the California Community Colleges to establish a task force to make recommendations on how to improve student success. SB 1456 will implement those recommendations.
“More than 70 percent of all undergraduate college students in California are in the community college system, yet only about 25 percent of students seeking degrees, certificates or transfers complete their work,” said L.A. Area Chamber President & CEO Gary Toebben. “From a business perspective, that’s a grave concern … We need to make sure students are succeeding so that our state reaps a return on its investments.”
The L.A. Area Chamber commended Gov. Brown, Sen. Alan Lowenthal, Sen. Carol Liu, the Board of Governors, the Community College Chancellor’s Office and the Student Success Task force for its bold leadership and their willingness to respond to requests for meaningful reforms.
“During this time of scarce resources and state budget cuts, we must implement innovative solutions that will improve student outcomes, provide for an educated workforce, and ensure the efficient use of state investment in higher education,” Toebben said. “In the long term, expediting a student’s time to completion will ensure greater outputs and minimize the state’s cost for educating the next generation of workers.”
"We look forward to working with newly appointed California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris, who also served on the Student Success Task force and helped implement critical strategies for improving student success.”
The L.A. Area Chamber was part of the 20-member task force, which comprised community college CEOs, faculty, students, researchers, staff and others. The group spent a year researching, studying and debating the best methods to improve student outcomes and made 22 recommendations to invest in student success and enable students to reach their goals.
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit www.lachamber.com.