Legislators, Students, and Advocates Demand Cal Grant Reform on Capitol Steps

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Joined by legislators, education advocates, and students, Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside) hosted a rally on debt free college and the need to reform Cal Grant through Assembly Bill 1456.

Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), and Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino), stood on the North steps of the Capitol after the recent Assembly Floor vote (78-0) for Assembly Bill 1456. Stakeholders, including Marlene Garcia, Executive Director of the California Student Aid Commission, and student advocates from the Fix Financial Aid Coalition, the Student Senate of California Community Colleges, and GENup emphasized the importance of modernizing Cal Grant so that it addresses “the 21st century needs of California’s students.”

California’s financial aid system, or Cal Grant, supports over 400,000 students seeking postsecondary education. Even so, the current program fails to adequately address to needs of students, leaving nearly 200,000 eligible students without state financial aid.

Senators John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), Chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education, and Dave Min (D-Irvine), also spoke on the importance of expanding Cal Grant and building a path to debt free college. Last week, the Assembly and Senate Budget Committees approved the Legislature’s version of the 2021-2022 State Budget, including funding for Cal Grant. The Legislature’s budget also streamlines award access and removes eligibility barriers for Cal Grant.

Legislation such as AB 1456 and the provisions in the Legislature’ version of the 2021-2022 state budget will modernize, streamline, and expand access to Cal Grant. AB 1456 now moves to the California State Senate.

CONTACT: Julianne Cravotto (916) 319-2061