News Update

Key California higher education bills clear Assembly committee

Two key higher education bills — one to expand financial aid in California and another to help community college students access transfer-level classes — advanced Thursday in the Legislature, passing in the Assembly’s Appropriations Committee.

Assembly Bill 1746 would expand state financial aid to an estimated 150,000 students, mostly in community college, by changing and easing eligibility requirements. It would also simplify the Cal Grant, the state’s financial aid program, which critics say is overly complex. Newsom vetoed a similar bill last year and his administration has already indicated that the latest bill would, in the administration’s view, be too expensive to implement. 

He did not include funding for the expansion in his revised state budget for 2022-23 despite pleas from supporters.

The other bill, AB 1705, aims to help more community college students skip remedial classes, which don’t earn credit for transfer to a four-year university. The bill directs colleges to presume that students would take the transfer courses. It clarifies when a community college is allowed to enroll students in remedial courses. It would build off a 2017 landmark law, AB 705, that said colleges must enroll students directly in transfer-level courses and not remedial classes unless they are deemed highly unlikely to succeed in transfer-level classes.