A legislative package of education bills authored by Assemblymember Chris Holden unanimously passed the Assembly Floor and now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
Assembly Bill 30 ensures dual enrollment opportunities remain available to students, Assembly Bill 1075 addresses the shortage of speech and language pathologists and Assembly Bill 1097 creates a transparent pathway for high school credit recovery.
“With the rising cost of higher education that widens the achievement gap, we need to find more ways to make education more affordable, accessible and transparent,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden.
Assembly Bill 30 would extend the College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP), first established by Assemblymember Holden’s legislation in 2015, past its current expiration at the end of 2021, and ensures dual enrollment opportunities remain available to students who are not already college bound or are underrepresented in higher education. The new legislation will also streamline the process for developing CCAP agreements between community college and K-12 districts.
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.
“Dual enrollment will increase the number of college graduates, reduce time and money spent for college, and help close the achievement gap,” said Holden. “This bill is a win for students and their families.”
Assembly Bill 1075 would tackle one of the worst teacher shortages in history by increasing the number of Speech and Language Pathologists (SLPs) slots within the California State University System (CSU). Speech and language is one of the largest disabilities for students and the CSUs graduate the majority of these pathologists. In 2018, the CSUs graduated 422 SLPs yet there were 1,443 vacant SLP district positions.
“Due to the shortage of SLPs, school districts are forced to contract out with speech service agencies and pay higher rates,” said Holden. “This bill could potentially save school districts thousands of dollars by increasing the number of slots admitted to CSUs and meet the growing demand.”
Assembly Bill 1097 would provide transparency around credit recovery for high school students in the State. Credit recovery programs allow students who fail a class to recover credit through abbreviated make up courses instead of repeating a whole school year. Currently, the California Department of Education collects zero data on credit recovery programs, while existing law contains no written definition or regulation.
“Too little is known across the nation and in California about the quality of these programs,” said Holden. “We should increase attention to these rapidly expanding programs to ensure they are helping and not harming students struggling to graduate.”
All three measures passed the Assembly Floor unanimously with bipartisan support and are now pending in the Senate.