Education Co. Okays Holden Bill To Provide Underrepresentd High Schoolers With Access To AP Courses

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sacramento – It’s no secret that California is facing a serious shortfall of college-educated workers in the coming decades, especially in the areas of science, engineering, technology and math.  That’s why Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) has joined with the College Board to target high-performing high school students from underserved communities.

Holden’s legislation (AB 1940) to establish a grant program encouraging school districts to provide more Advanced Placement classes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) has been approved in the Assembly Education Committee.

“AP classes provide a cost-effective way for high school students to obtain college-level coursework.  It’s widely believed that students who take AP classes are much more likely to perform well and complete a bachelor’s degree in four years,” explained Assemblymember Holden. “And, more and more, a college degree – especially in science, math and technology - provides opportunities in today’s economy.”

AB 1940 creates a pilot program beginning next January to provide 90 high schools with financial support and incentives they need to expand access to rigorous coursework for students who have demonstrated they are ready.

“The College Board supports Assemblymember Holden’s legislation, AB 1940, to expand access to Advanced Placement STEM courses,” testified Government Relations Director Laura Rodriguez. “Data shows that students who took AP math and science exams were more likely than non-AP students to earn degrees in physical science, engineering and life science disciplines — the fields leading to some of the careers essential for America's future prosperity.”