Adapting to Change: An Analysis of California Community College Spending and Outcomes After Adopting a Performance Based Funding Model

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The need for a more educated workforce to meet the demands of the current and future labor market within California has led to the adoption of a performance-based funding (PBF) policy for California Community Colleges (CCC). This reorganization of fiscal allocations, the Student-Centered Funding Formula (SCFF), provides more funding to colleges with students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds, specifically those who qualify for Pell Grants or Cal Grants. The outcomes of these students are of paramount importance since the funding is dependent on their success, measured in certificate or associate degree completion, among other retention-based metrics. Many of the low-income students enrolled within the CCC system identify as members of traditionally minoritized ethnic groups, with Hispanic identifying students comprising over 46% of the current CCC student population. This high population of Hispanic identifying students and their socio-economic status has led to a majority (92) of the 115 CCCs classification as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). To promote positive outcomes for all students, but specifically those identifying as Hispanic, CCC Districts should analyze their current fiscal spending practices within the areas of instruction, academic support, and student services so they can prepare of this change in funding allocation and adapt if necessary. Further, it is important for CCC Districts to understand the levels of academic preparedness their incoming student populations possesses so they can best support their student body and in turn earn additional funding through the SCFF. This study seeks to provide an analysis of fiscal allocations within the CCC Districts and ascertain if there is any difference between CCC Districts currently benefiting from the SCFF compared to those receiving funding protection due to not meeting SCFF defined metrics. Additionally, this study analyzes the relationship between the percentage of incoming Hispanic identifying students and overall student academic preparedness to determine the relationship between these factors and the likelihood of CCC Districts receiving additional SCFF funding or being placed on funding protection status.

Performance Based Funding, California Community Colleges, Apportionment, Budget, Academic Preparedness