SACRAMENTO— Today, three bills, Assembly Bill 101, Assembly Bill 927, and Assembly Bill 1456 by Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), passed the Senate Education Committee. The unifying theme for all three legislation was the emphasis on expanding equity, building representation, and creating access to California’s education systems.
Supported by a broad coalition of educators, Superintendent Tony Thurmond, and twenty-six thousand students and parents, AB 101 will require high schools to offer ethnic studies courses in the academic year 2025-26. This gives schools and districts plenty of time to prepare for a smooth implementation and the adoption of this requirement.
AB 927, by Assemblymembers Medina and Choi, will make permanent the statewide baccalaureate degree pilot program and prepare students for California's diversifying workforce. Community college districts with degree programs with unmet workforce needs will be able to participate. Supported by numerous community college districts, this bill passed with full, bipartisan support of the Senate Education Committee.
Finally, AB 1456, by Assemblymember Medina, Assemblymember McCarty, Senator Leyva, and others, will modernize the largest state financial aid system in the nation, Cal Grant, and match the financial challenges students face. Specifically, this legislation will remove barriers for adult learners such as GPA—eliminating the need for the competitive Cal Grant program and expanding access to nearly 200,000 eligible students. Morever, AB 1456 will modernize and consolidate the program—accounting for the true cost of attendance and addressing the needs of California’s students. Given the expansive coalition of stakeholders, this bill passed the Senate Education Committee with unanmious support.
The hearing for these bills comes admist the State’s annual budget agreement. A historical year for investments in higher education, the budget includes expansive funding for Cal Grant and for ethnic studies at the K-12 level.
“I am proud that three of my most significant and personal bills have passed the Senate Education Committee. I and others have fought for these issues of ethnic studies, baccalaureate degrees, and financial aid reform for numerous years and I am pleased that Chair Leyva and the Senate Education Committee supported them today. This is the year we can achieve real and lasting reform.”
AB 101, AB 927, and 1456 now move to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
CONTACT: Julianne Cravotto (916) 319-2061