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California bills target Trump rollbacks of crackdown on for-profit colleges

Other measures include AB1345 by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, which would ban colleges from setting recruiting quotas or bonuses for their employees; AB1344 by Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, D-Orinda, which would require out-of-state schools to meet state consumer protections to enroll California students in online programs; and 

Students, Administrators, and Legislators Rally to Fix Financial Aid

The rise of housing costs for students of CSUSB is one of the factors leading to this high rate of homelessness for students here, commented Madeline Zhuo, an employee at a food pantry, in response to the topics raised by the rally in Sacramento.

On Feb. 20 student leaders, college executives, and legislators rallied at the state capital for financial aid reform to combat food insecurity, lack of shelter, and wellbeing issues that plague California college students.

California college activists rally together for financial aid reform

Students, administrators and legislators held a rally to reform college financial aid on the west steps of the State Capitol Wednesday afternoon.

The Student Senate of California Community Colleges, the University of California Student Association and the Cal State Student Association rallied together with legislators, administrations, research organizations and advocacy groups to call for financial aid reform for all college students to our state leaders.

California May Add A New Ethnic Studies High School Graduation Requirement

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Assembly Bill 331, introduced Thursday, would require the students in grades 9-12 to take an ethnic studies course in either social studies or English starting in the 2023-24 school year. The Instructional Quality Commission would develop the course curriculum with input from ethnic studies professors at universities and colleges, along with representatives from local education agencies and teachers with experience or educational backgrounds in studying and teaching ethnic studies.

California higher education leaders have high hopes for Newsom's spending plans

Newsom, who is to be inaugurated Jan. 7, starts off with an estimated $14.8 billion state budget surplus and, as a result, high expectations among higher education leaders and experts that he will keep many of his campaign promises. Among those pledges: more money to the state’s university systems to avoid tuition hikes, two years of free community college, financial aid reform and better coordination throughout higher education.

Cal State system reports improvement in graduation rates

State Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, who chairs the Assembly’s Committee on Higher Education, said Wednesday in an interview that he is “happy to see the growth and it’s certainly something that Governor Brown and the Legislature have paid much attention to.” And even if the increases are not huge, “at least it’s in the right direction.” Medina noted that graduation rates vary widely among Cal State campuses and that he wants to examine campus numbers when those are released.

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes bill regarding ethnic studies as high school graduation requirement

Ethnic studies will still not be a high school graduation requirement in up to 11 California school districts because of Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision to veto AB 2772.

AB 2772 proposed a three-year pilot program formulated by Assemblymembers Jose Medina, D-Riverside, Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, and Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, which would mandate a semester- or yearlong ethnic studies course as a graduation requirement during the 2020-2023 school years.

Assemblymember Medina, a former ethnic studies teacher, said in a statement via email that he is disappointed in Brown’s decision.

“The history taught in our classrooms is not inclusive of the diversity that makes up California and that needs to change,” Medina said in his statement. “As a former Ethnic Studies teacher, I’ve seen first-hand the excitement and increased level of engagement students experience when they personally connect to the coursework. Ethnic Studies is a powerful mechanism that helps broaden the understanding of backgrounds and cultures different from our own.”

California community colleges seek larger Cal Grants to cover students' living costs

And despite the price tag, some state lawmakers are signaling support for transforming the Cal Grant, which is already considered one of the most generous state aid programs in the country because of the amounts of money that it offers students.

“We know that tuition is only a portion of the cost students face when attending college and I believe we should expand use of Cal Grant to also cover living expenses and transportation to help lighten the burden students face,” said Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), who chairs the higher education committee in the state Assembly.