BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     SB 906  


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          Date of Hearing:  August 3, 2016


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                               Lorena Gonzalez, Chair


          SB 906  
          (Beall) - As Amended May 19, 2016


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          |Policy       |Higher Education               |Vote:|13 - 0       |
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          |             |Human Services                 |     |  7 - 0      |
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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  YesReimbursable:   
          Yes


          SUMMARY:


          This bill:










                                                                     SB 906  


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          1)Modifies the definition of "foster youth or former foster  
            youth," for the purposes of priority registration at the  
            University of California (UC), the California State University  
            (CSU), and the California Community Colleges (CCC), to include  
            a student under age 26 instead of under age 24, and deletes  
            the January 1, 2017 sunset on priority registration for foster  
            youth or former foster youth


          2)Repeals the January 1, 2017 sunset on provisions providing  
            priority registration at the CCC to Extended Opportunity  
            Programs and Services (EOPS) students, and Disabled Student  
            Programs and Services (DSPS) students.


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          Any costs for the segments to continue offering priority  
          registration to the specified student cohorts will be minor and  
          absorbable. Of the 2.3 million students enrolled in the CCC for   
            2014-15, about 76,000 were EOPS students, 121,000 were DSPS  
          students, and 15,000 were foster youth or former foster youth.


          COMMENTS:


          1)Background. DSPS provides support services, specialized  
            instruction and accommodations to students with a disability,  
            allowing them to fully participate and benefit from an  
            equitable college experience. EOPS enables low income,  
            educationally disadvantaged students "affected by language,  
            social, and economic handicaps" to achieve a college education  
            by providing educational opportunities, encouragement, and  
            support services. According to the Foundation for California  
            Community Colleges, each year, approximately 4,000 of  
            California's foster youth turn 18 and become independent, many  
            without the necessary skills to support themselves.








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            A 2013 study by the Center for Social Services and Research  
            measuring the academic achievement of foster youth, students  
            with disabilities, and low-income students, found that these  
            groups, "fared significantly worse than the general population  
            in a range of areas, including, the percentage who initially  
            enter community college and persist one year."  Additionally,  
            the Center found that by age 26, each of these student  
            populations is much less likely to hold a post-secondary  
            education degree.


          2)Purpose. The author contends that this measure "removes the  
            sunset date for the three categories of students to allow  
            colleges to continue the priority registration process and  
            also changes the eligibility criteria for foster youth to  
            align with other existing programs. By removing the sunset,  
            colleges will be able to continue to grant priority  
            registration for foster youth, low-income, and disabled  
            students, so it enables them to register for courses before  
            the larger student population.  Priority registration would  
            allow them to secure required courses, shorten the time to  
            degree completion and reduce financial aid utilization.  In  
            regards to changing the definition of foster youth, these  
            youth are already at a disadvantage and have encountered many  
            challenges throughout their lives.  These students can't  
            afford to have another barrier placed upon them.  Many foster  
            youth have shown success based on the offering of priority  
            registration and additional support services."


          3)Prior Legislation. AB 595 (Gomez), Chapter 704, Statutes of  
            2013, established priority registration for EOPS and DSPS  
            students until January 1, 2017.  AB 194 (Beall), Chapter 458,  
            Statutes of 2011, established priority registration for  
            current and former foster youth until January 1, 2017.










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          Analysis Prepared by:Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081