(SACRAMENTO, CA) The California State Assembly returned Senate Constitutional Amendment (SCA) 5 to the Senate at the request of its author Senator Ed Hernández (D-West Covina). This action was accompanied with an announcement that the Assembly Speaker and the Senate President pro tempore will create a commission in the next couple of weeks on issues surrounding recruitment, admissions, and retention of students in California’s higher education system. Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus and member of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, issued the following statement about these developments.
"The state must play a more active role to ensure equal access to higher education. After having reformed K-12 education funding last year to focus on low-income and English language learning students, it is time for a thoughtful debate about what can be done to ensure that all hardworking students have access to a state university education. This means taking a hard look at recruitment and retention activities to ensure that our campuses provide opportunities for students from underrepresented communities, as is the common practice in our nation’s elite private colleges. However, getting admitted is only the start of many challenges facing students today. Paying for college and graduating on time must become easier. Continued financial aid reform is needed to help more students afford the cost of earning a degree. We must also bring new investment to higher education so that students can enroll in the classes they need. All of these actions and more will help every qualified student access opportunities in our wonderful state university system."