Today's Law As Amended

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AB-1382 Community colleges: STEM course fees.(2017-2018)

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The United States is a global leader, in large part, through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers, and innovators.
(b) In a world that is becoming increasingly complex, and where success is driven not only by what you know, but by what you can do with what you know, it is more important than ever for California’s youth to be equipped with knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information. These are the types of skills that students learn by studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, known as STEM, subjects.
(c) Unfortunately, few students pursue expertise in STEM fields, and few students see these fields as springboards for their careers, because most students do not have access to quality STEM learning opportunities. A student’s race, ZIP Code, or socioeconomic status should never determine his or her STEM knowledge and skills. California has a responsibility to give all students the opportunity to thrive in a modern STEM economy.
(d) Providing free enrollment in STEM courses at California’s community colleges will benefit the entire state and send a message globally that we are committed to providing an educated and competitive workforce.
(e) Technology is pervasive in almost every aspect of daily life, and as the workplace changes, STEM knowledge and skills increase in importance for a variety of workers, not just for mathematicians and scientists.
(f) Making STEM education a priority in California is imperative to the state’s economic future so we must do all that we can to incentivize community college students to take STEM courses whether they are pursuing a certificate to secure employment, an associate’s degree, or credits to transfer to a four-year university.

SEC. 2.

 Section 76300.2 is added to the Education Code, to read:

 (a) Commencing with the 2018–19 academic year, the board of governors shall waive the fees, for enrollment in STEM courses only, for a student who graduated from a California high school after attending a California high school for at least two academic years.
(b) The waiver shall apply only for the student’s enrollment in STEM courses within four academic years from the date of his or her high school graduation.
(c) For purposes of this section, “STEM courses” are science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses.
(d) This section does not prohibit the student from otherwise being exempted from paying enrollment fees or receiving a fee waiver to attend a community college.
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.