Legislation Will Provide Students More Access to Classes
Community college legislation authored by Senator George Runner (R-Antelope Valley) was signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger late last week. The measures will greatly benefit community college students.
"California's community colleges are vital to our educational system. These new laws support community colleges and provide opportunities for more students to access classes," said Runner.
Senate Bill 1303 was sponsored by College of the Canyons. It provides better access for high school students attending academic classes in the summer. Currently there is an arbitrary cap of allowing only 5% of high school students to attend summer courses even when classes are not full. This new law will remove the cap for students taking transferable academic courses, vocational education courses and courses to help seniors pass the high school exit exam.
College of the Canyons President Dr. Dianne Van Hook said, "SB 1303 will eliminate the 5% limitation and create opportunities for thousands of students throughout the state. Summer school is an outstanding way for high school students to get a jump start on their college educations or explore job training opportunities. It gives them a chance to focus on particular courses of study, and in the process, prove to themselves they have what it takes to succeed in college. Those students are much more likely to continue with college after high school and earn an advanced degree. Opportunity, timing, and access pave the way for future success."
Senate Bill 1304 allows community colleges to use capital outlay state funds to acquire existing government-owned or privately owned property for much-needed facilities. The new law will cut costs and provide more tools by allowing community college districts to meet their facility needs without construction.
Another measure, Senate Bill 361, in which Runner is a principal co-author, changes the current community college funding model, which is arcane and inequitable. The new system increases funding including $159 million in equalization funding that was approved in the budget. It also provides more fairness, predictability, and transparency.
Senate Bill 1290 which Runner joint authored was vetoed by the Governor because the provisions were adopted in the education bond, Prop 1D, which will be on the November ballot.