By George Bao June 27, 2016
LOS ANGELES – The College for All Coalition Monday applauded California Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to sign into law that will make students of all backgrounds having greater opportunity to attend and graduate from the state’s four-year public universities.
Governor Jerry Brown Monday signed the state budget, including two budget trailer bills, SB 828 and AB 1602, that together enact landmark legislation to invest in California’s future by improving college access and readiness for all California students.
The College for All Coalition, composed of over 50 diverse organizations representing community, education, student, parent, labor, faith, and civil rights groups throughout California, applauded this important step in reinvesting in California public higher education.
Members of the College for All Coalition, including Asian Americans Advancing Justice-California, led on-the-ground efforts to actively support the passage of this historic education legislation.
Currently, less than half of California’s high school graduates are eligible to attend the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU). A key reason for this is that public schools in California that enroll significant numbers of low income, English learners, and foster youth students typically have fewer A-G courses, Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and college advising and counseling resources.
Moreover, a crisis of disinvestment in and insufficient funding for public higher education has made it harder for California students to attend and afford the UC.
The state budget and the two education trailer bills, SB 828 and AB 1602, will level the playing field and expand the pie of educational opportunity in California by:
Establishing a K-12 College Readiness Block Grant in the amount of $200 million to increase the college readiness and eligibility of California public high school students (especially those who are low income, English learners, and foster youth) through greater access to A-G courses, Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and college advising and counseling;
Expanding University of California (UC) enrollment slots by 2,500 slots for the 2017-2018 school year through an additional $18.5 million in the state budget;
Giving qualified California resident students from high schools that enroll 75% or more students who are low income, English learners, and foster youth a fair shot at attending the UC;
Promoting student success and graduation completion by allocating $20 million for UC student outreach and student support services for low income and underrepresented students.
Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, said: “California’s future depends on reinvesting in public education so that every California student has an equal opportunity to attend and graduate from the state’s world class public universities. We thank Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León for this historic, landmark legislation that will ‘expand the pie’ of educational opportunity by expanding UC enrollment slots and also level the playing field so that all California students, regardless of income or zip code, have a fair shot at a four-year college degree.”