California GEAR UP Statement on Sequestration

For Immediate Release


March 6, 2013 (Sacramento, CA) – As of Friday, March 1, 2013, sequestration went into effect.  On a national level, GEAR UP will be forced to take a 5.3 percent reduction.  On a state level, California GEAR UP is prepared to manage the implications of a mandated reduction with the least amount of impact on the schools and large communities served by the program.  For further information on the impact to the GEAR UP program nationally, please visit and http:///

Education Trust Awards:

The 5,370 Education Trust Award recipients should be relieved to learn that no reduction will occur in your award level. All Education Trust Awards to date have been fully funded.  Education Trust Awards provide $2,000 in resources to defray the costs of college attendance. The awards are available to students within one year of high school graduation and upon college enrollment.

The goal of California GEAR UP is to provide a network of support for schools towards implementing long-term, sustainable strategies to create a college-going culture.  We look forward to their continued growth and success as we collaborate to achieve this common purpose, regardless of the adversity presented by the current federal budget crisis.

Since 1999, California GEAR UP has impacted:

  • 256 California Middle Schools
  • 440,000 California Middle School Students
  • 51,000 Families
  • 2,100 Middle School Teachers
  • 5,370 Education Trust Awards

“GEAR UP is an efficient program in local communities designed to increase the number of low-income and first-generation students prepared to enroll and succeed in college. Our economic prosperity and global competiveness is at stake when we put programs like GEAR UP at risk. We urge our leaders to consider the impact on low-income middle and high school students to enter and succeed academically when funding for effective programs, such as GEAR UP, is decreased.”   –Penny Edgert, Executive Director California Education Round Table Intersegmental Coordinating Committee.

If you have questions regarding California GEAR UP and the effects of sequestration, please contact Sean Brennan, Communications Manager:, 415-948-9262.


Penny Edgert,  Principal Investigator, California GEAR UP 

Speak Up for GEAR UP: Sign the Petition

Just before leaving for their August recess, members of Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011. While the full implications of the Act are not yet clear, one thing is crystal clear: GEAR UP is at risk.

When Congress re-convenes in early September to pick up their budget and appropriations work, they’ll be tasked with cutting billions of dollars from the federal budget. GEAR UP and other college access programs may well be on the chopping block.

Our members of Congress and the Obama administration need to hear from each and every American concerned about college access and committed to efficient, effective, locally-driven, and family-focused programs like GEAR UP. Now is the time to make our voices heard: protect the future by protecting funding for GEAR UP and other college access programs.

Here’s where you come in. I need you to act TODAY.

Please click here to sign the petition asking the President to stand up for college access during the upcoming appropriations battles.

Signing the petition adds your voice to the GEAR UP chorus, and is a first step down the road to protecting this critical program.

Action Alert: Call Congress and Save GEAR UP

(Click on call script above to enlarge and download.)

As you know, the environment in Washington is quite heated with the Administration and Congress negotiating how to pare down the federal deficit. A number of rumors are swirling around town and the only thing that is certain is that all non-security programs – including GEAR UP -are at risk of being severely reduced or cut altogether. In the coming days the GEAR UP community is organizing advocacy measures directed at the House of Reps, Senate, and the White House. Here is the schedule:

  • Wednesday, July 13 – U.S. House of Representatives
  • Thursday, July 14 – U.S. Senate
  • Tuesday, July 19 – White House

Here is how:

  1. Search who your legislators are here.
  2. Call your House Representative via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
  3. Deliver the message (from script above): “Tell [LEGISLATOR NAME] not to cut GEAR UP in FY 2012!”
  4. Find five other people to do the same!

Here is how to call the White House:

  • Call the White House @ (202) 456-1111 and let President Obama know he “MUST protect TRIO and GEAR UP in the debt ceiling and FY12 negotiations.  There is no college success, without college access.” Also, e-mail (click) the President and repeat your messsage!

    PLEASE NOTE: White House switchboard shuts down @ 5:00 PM (ET) and the lines are often busy. Please call early and insist until you deliver your message!

We know our programs work. We know they make a tremendous difference in the lives of all of the students we touch. Many on Capitol Hill know this as well, but the nature of the current debate is so serious that we cannot sit idly by in hopes of being spared. Now is the time to act!