WACAC’s Government Relations Committee has long lobbied for increased access to high quality college counseling resources for all students in California and Nevada. This was, once again, a featured talking point at WACAC’s 11th Annual Legislative Conference in Sacramento, CA, which took place less than one month ago in February 2014. A recent Op Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle by Amy Jarich of UC Berkeley and Richard Shaw of Stanford University shows that WACAC is not alone in recognizing the critical role counselors play in the transition to college.

For the past two years, the Government Relations Committee has also emphasized how important it is for legislative leaders to increase access to high quality college counseling resources at the community college level, in addition to K-12 schools.

The Op Ed by Jarich and Shaw states that cuts to college counseling resources in schools are short-sighted and will ultimately backfire. We agree. The legislative challenge in response to this trend comes from the fact that California Governor Jerry Brown has proposed new funding formulas for K-12 schools that give individual school districts flexible sources of funding. The Government Relations Committee is working hard to communicate with state legislators about how important it is to set expectations for local school leaders to maintain (or increase) funding for college counseling as they decide how to use their flexible funding.

The good news is that there is momentum in the right direction. Education funding has been increased in the latest proposed budget and several CA state legislators have expressed their interest in working with WACAC on these issues.

Steven Mercer, Ed.D. Co-Chair Government Relations Committee
Erica Cosgrove, Chair for Local Visits