Source Date: pubinfo_daily_2021_10_15_1122_Fri

Bill: AB 469

"This Bill Would"s:

Bill Text:



20210AB__046999INT99INTRODUCED2021-02-0820210AB469INTIntroduced by Assembly Member ReyesLEAD_AUTHORASSEMBLYReyes An act to add Section 51225.7 to the Education Code, relating to pupil instruction. pupil instructionPupil instruction: high school graduation requirements: financial aid applications.

Existing law establishes a system of public elementary and secondary education in this state. Under this system, local educational agencies throughout the state provide instruction and other services to pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive. Pupils who seek to continue their education in postsecondary educational institutions, and who wish to apply for financial aid, are generally required to apply for this aid through certain standardized forms, which, for most pupils, include the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and, for certain pupils, include the California Dream Act application.

This bill would require a school district, county office of education, or charter school to ensure that a grade 12 pupil completes and submits a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or, if the pupil is exempt from paying nonresident tuition under existing law, completes and submits a California Dream Act application. The bill would authorize, under certain conditions, the school district, county office of education, or charter school to exempt a pupil who fails to comply with the requirement due to extenuating circumstances. By imposing additional duties on local educational agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

MAJORITYNOYESYESNONONONONONONO
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:SECTION 1.

(a)The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1)California?s student financial aid application process is overly complex and burdensome to students and families.

(2)Many eligible students do not complete a financial aid form because they believe they are ineligible, have no information on how to apply, think that the forms are too much work, or do not want to share personal information because of deportation fears.

(3)While the financial aid system is intended to make college ?access and affordability a guarantee to every qualified student,? California currently ranks 30th in the nation in application rates. As a result, California?s students leave, on average, $550,000,000 in federal and state financial aid on the table.

(b)It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation, to be known as the Financial Aid Integration Act, that will accomplish all of the following:

(1)Allow California to maximize the number of its students who apply for and receive federal and state financial aid without creating an undue burden that prevents some students from graduating.

(2)Establish a coordinated completion campaign for all existing statewide efforts to increase financial aid application completion rates, which include, but are not limited to, all of the following: the California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP), the 2019?20 ?Race to Submit,? Assembly Bill 2015 (Chapter 533 of the Statutes of 2018) implementation, the Cash for College Program workshops, automatic grade point average verification for all grade 12 pupils, Assembly Bill 2160 (Chapter 679 of the Statutes of 2014), and outreach to increase enrollment in the California College Promise Innovation Grant Program.

(3)Give local educational agencies direction and discretion on how to coordinate and assist families and students in the completion of financial aid applications.

(4)Give students the freedom to choose the pathway that is best for them after high school, whether that be postsecondary education or pursuing an occupational or technical program.

(5)Help California close the 1,100,000 degree gap so that California has the skilled workers necessary to be competitive in today?s and tomorrow?s economy.

SEC. 2.Section 51225.7 is added to the Education Code, to read:51225.7.

(a)For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

(1)?Local educational agency? means a school district, county office of education, or charter school.

(2)?Pupil? means a pupil in grade 12 attending a high school maintained by a local educational agency.

(b)A local educational agency shall ensure both of the following, as applicable:

(1)That pupils complete and submit to the United States Department of Education a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

(2)That pupils who are exempt from paying nonresident tuition pursuant to Section 68130.5, complete and submit to the Student Aid Commission the California Dream Act application.

(c)If the local educational agency determines that a pupil is unable to complete the requirement described in subdivision (b) due to extenuating circumstances, the local educational agency may exempt the pupil at its discretion if both of the following conditions are satisfied:

(1)The local educational agency has presented the pupil and the pupil?s parent or legal guardian with information sufficient to explain the nature of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the California Dream Act application and how they can help with the pupil?s postsecondary education.

(2)A school administrator attests, in a formal written record, that the local educational agency has made a good faith effort to assist the pupil.

(d)The governing board or body of the local educational agency shall ensure both of the following:

(1)The local educational agency provides to each high school pupil and, if applicable, the pupil?s parent or legal guardian any support and assistance necessary to comply with the requirement described in subdivision (b).

(2)Information shared by parents, legal guardians, and pupils under this section is handled according to applicable state and federal privacy laws and regulations.

SEC. 3.

If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.