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Access to Education Has No Sunset

Published on Monday, January 24, 2022 | 6:20 pm
Assemblymember Chris Holden via Facebook

Today, Assemblymember Chris Holden’s bill, AB 102 has passed the Assembly Floor with bi-partisan, unanimous support and is now heading to the Senate. AB 102 would eliminate the 2027 sunset date for College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP) partnerships and increase access to dual enrollment opportunities for students in juvenile court schools.

“When I first introduced this bill, I was motivated by the growing opportunity gap faced by children from disadvantaged backgrounds,” said Assemblymember Holden. “Education should not have restrictions and I believe that if the youth of today had the opportunity to take college level courses, they would gain the confidence and knowledge to excel in higher education and become positive members of our society today and in the future.”

Dual and concurrent enrollment provides high school students access to college-level coursework. In some cases, students earn both high school and college credit for the same course depending on approval from local school and community college governing boards. Assemblymember Holden first established the College and Career Access Pathways program in 2015 (AB 288) and has since passed numerous bills to increase and expand dual enrollment opportunities through these partnerships.

According to an October 2018 Career Ladders study, students who participate in dual enrollment at a community college during high school are more likely to graduate and enter college and more likely to complete a certificate, degree, or transfer. A key finding was that students most underrepresented in community colleges often benefit the most.

As the quality of court school education varies widely, many students express that they feel disengaged from school, or that they are constantly repeating material that they have already covered. Increasing educational opportunities, like dual enrollment, for students in juvenile hall could provide a turning point that leads to academic success and future employment.

“Dual enrollment provides goal setting intention to our youth to get started in their careers without the heavy burden of college debt,” said Holden. “Providing aspiring students across the state the opportunity to excel ensures a hope for future generations and by extending the program to court schools, we ensure the exact population of students this program was meant to help, has access to it.”

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