Lake County News,California – California to speed graduation, offer debt cancellation at community colleges

Building on the government’s roadmap with California community colleges and compacts with the University of California and California State University, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday announced he would sign legislation to increase graduation and transfer rates and offer community college debt relief.

“California is increasing resources, adding services, and promoting equity to increase graduation and transfer rates in all of our higher education systems,” Newsom said. “Thanks to the leadership of the Legislature, we are building on my administration’s efforts to ensure that all of our students are well equipped for success and prepared for California’s future.”

“Today is a landmark moment in the future of higher education as we finally turn the page on antiquated placement tests that push students into classes that don’t count towards their graduation requirements,” Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) said Friday. “Since the enactment of my AB 705 bill in 2018, there have been significant improvements in addressing racial equity gaps, particularly for Black and Hispanic students who have historically been overrepresented in remedial classes but systemic barriers remain. The signing of AB 1705 and AB 1187, in conjunction with investing $64 million in tutoring students to earn college credit, will ensure students and faculty have the resources they need to make students successful . My heartfelt thanks go to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Chancellor Gonzales and supporters for their unwavering commitment to these reforms.”

The bills signed on Friday will:

Ensure that students at California Community Colleges enroll directly in transfer-level math and English courses if their program requires it or they are considering a transfer.

Expand supervised tutoring offerings for foundational skills and transfer-level courses.

Offer debt relief to encourage students to re-enroll and enroll in community colleges, building on budget funds.

“California community colleges are grateful to Gov. Newsom’s leadership for signing transformative legislation that will foster student success and advance the goals of the roadmap for the future,” said Interim Chancellor of California Community Colleges, Dr. Daisy Gonzales, Ph.D. “Remedial education reform and expanding access to tutoring will help millions of Californians complete their education faster, and many more will pursue their dreams as new opportunities arise as we remove the burden of past debt. We thank the many student and campus leaders who have championed these changes and stand ready to continue driving a just recovery in higher education.”

“In addition to historic pacts with our public colleges and universities, engagement with internship practices at our colleges is good news for students,” said Michele Siqueiros, President of Campaign for College Opportunity. “We are grateful to Governor Newsom for enacting AB 1705 today and for his truly student-centric leadership in higher education in California. Community college students will no longer be denied the opportunity to take the transfer-level courses they need. Coupled with significant investment in enrollment funding, expanding financial aid, and improving transfer channels—under this governor, our college students have a greater opportunity to thrive, graduate, and lead a brighter future for our golden state to contribute.”

A full list of signed invoices can be found here:

AB 288 by Assemblymember Lisa Calderon (D-Whittier) – California Ban on Scholarship Displacement Act of 2021.

AB 1705 by Assemblyman Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) – Seymour-Campbell Student Success Act of 2012: Enrollment: Assessment.

AB 1187 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) – Community Colleges: Tutoring.

AB 1712 by Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside) – Public Post-Secondary Education: Campus Security: Online Survey Tool.

AB 1958 by Congregational Member Mike Fong (D-Alhambra) – The Community College Student Access, Retention, and Debt Cancel Program.

AB 1942 by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) – Community Colleges: Funding: Training agreements with public security agencies.

AB 1997 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) – California State University: Emergency Response Programs: report.

AB 2315 by Assembly Member Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) – Community Colleges: Records: Confirmed Name and Gender Identification.

AB 2482 by Assemblyman Lisa Calderon (D-Whittier) – Public Post-Secondary Education: Student Health: Pilot Program: Wellness Vending Machines.

AB 2810 by assembly member Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) – Student Nutrition: CalFresh: Student Eligibility: Federal Student Aid Application Data.

AB 2881 by Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) – Public post-secondary education: Students with dependent children.

SB 684 by Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) – California State University: Doctoral Programs in Public Health.

SB 893 by Senator Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park) – Community Colleges: San Mateo County Community College District: California College Promise.