Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook in her office her office in Canyons Hall at College of the Canyons. (Photo by Dan Watson)

Van Hook lauds Newsom’s budget proposal

Following the release of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest budget proposal, local community college leaders are applauding the first-year governor for his commitment to ensuring that students have access to education and training that will equip them for today’s economy. California’s education system as a whole was a focus for Newsom in his inaugural budget proposal, which includes the allocation of $40 million more into the community college system, according to a statement from Newsom’s office. The move is part of an effort to waive a second year of tuition costs for students who attend a California Community College campus. The state and College of the Canyons already offer first-time community college students a free first year of tuition, but after attempting to raise $87,000 this December, which would have given 87 more students the opportunity for free tuition, COC leaders were pleased to hear about the governor’s proposed investments. “We are encouraged to see the governor’s focus on eliminating financial barriers to education,” said COC Chancellor Dianne Van Hook. “By funding a second year of College Promise and increasing financial aid for student-parents, Gov. Newsom clearly demonstrates his belief that higher education can lift students from poverty and create new economic opportunities for more of California’s 2.2 million community college students.” Van Hook has long held the belief that one the greatest assets of a community college is the training or continuing education classes that a school can provide to individuals who are in need of job retraining or new skills, and thanks to the budget proposal, school leaders feel they will be able to continue their efforts. “This represents a positive start to the state’s budget development process,” Van Hook said. “We look forward to working with our representatives in the Legislature over the months to come to ensure the final results offer the maximum benefit to the more than 32,000 students we serve at College of the Canyons each year.”

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