California is currently home to two of the most important things happening in higher education, one good, one bad. The good thing is the rapid advancement of cheap and free online courses offered by companies like Udacity and Coursera. The bad thing is the catastrophic failure of California lawmakers to provide enough money to support basic access to foundational courses at community colleges. Tomorrow, California Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg will announce a plan that essentially tries to use the one to fix the other. This groundbreaking initiative has broad implications for the nature, financing, and regulation of higher learning.