If the state cannot afford to expand the Cal Grant program, key trade-offs loom

Last year California lawmakers agreed to expand the Cal Grant, financial aid for low-income students next spring, but only if there’s enough money in the state budget.

If dollars are scarce, some advocates say the state should pull money from a new scholarship partly for middle class students to pay for more aid to students of lesser means. But key figures in the Legislature and Newsom’s administration disagree with that approach.

“I would not pull and redirect funds that are currently serving 300,000 students,” said Marlene Garcia, executive director of the California Student Aid Commission, the state agency that handles college financial aid.

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