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AB-469 Pupil instruction: financial aid applications.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 03/29/2021 09:00 PM
AB469:v98#DOCUMENT

Revised  April 08, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 29, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 469


Introduced by Assembly Member Reyes Members Reyes, McCarty, and Quirk-Silva
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Berman, Carrillo, Chau, Jones-Sawyer, Santiago, Stone, and Villapudua)
(Coauthors: Senators Hertzberg and Wiener)

February 08, 2021


An act to add Section 51225.7 to the Education Code, relating to pupil instruction.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 469, as amended, Reyes. Pupil 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 pupil who has not opted out, as specified, 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. form for purposes of the California Dream Act. The bill would authorize, require, 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.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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. graduating, without impacting student or parent immigration status, and with full protection for student and parent data.
(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) Require implementation in compliance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1232g) and applicable state laws such as Chapters 493 and 495 of the Statutes of 2017.

(4)

(5) 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)

(6) Help California close the 1,100,000 degree 2,000,000-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) “Extenuating circumstances” means situations or conditions that provide an excuse, including, but not limited to, military plans, religious reasons, or entering the workforce, for not completing a requirement of this section.

(1)

(2) “Local educational agency” means a school district, county office of education, or charter school.

(2)

(3) “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:

(b) Commencing with the 2021–22 school year, except as provided in subdivisions (c) and (d), the governing body of a local educational agency shall confirm that a pupil complies with at least one of the following:
(1) That pupils complete and submit The pupil completes and submits to the United States Department of Education a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
(2) That pupils who are If the pupil is exempt from paying nonresident tuition pursuant to Section 68130.5, complete and submit the pupil completes and submits to the Student Aid Commission the California Dream Act application. a form established pursuant to Section 69508.5 for purposes of the California Dream Act.
(c) The parent or legal guardian of the pupil, or the pupil if the pupil is a legally emancipated minor or 18 years of age or older, may opt out of the requirements of this section by submitting a written request to the local educational agency.

(c)

(d) If the local educational agency determines that a pupil is unable to complete the a requirement described in subdivision (b) of this section due to extenuating circumstances, the local educational agency may shall exempt the pupil at its discretion if both of the following conditions are satisfied: or, if applicable, the pupil’s parent or legal guardian from completing and submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a form established pursuant to Section 69508.5 for purposes of the California Dream Act, or a written request to opt out pursuant to subdivision (c).

(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)

(e) The governing board or body of the local educational agency shall ensure both of the following:
(1) The local educational agency provides to directs each high school pupil and, if applicable, the pupil’s parent or legal guardian any support and assistance services necessary to comply with the requirement described in subdivision (b). (b) that may be available through outreach programs, including, but not limited to, those programs operated by the Student Aid Commission, the California Community Colleges, college readiness organizations, and community-based organizations.
(2) Information shared by parents, legal guardians, and pupils under this section is handled according to applicable state and federal privacy laws and regulations.
(f) The Student Aid Commission may publish model policies, opt-out forms, and acceptable use forms for purposes of this section on how to handle and protect all student and parent data to fullest extent possible consistent with federal and state privacy laws and regulations so that schools remain safe, and all personal data remain safe, regardless of any person’s immigration status or other personal information. The Student Aid Commission may draw from protections featured in other states’ policies to develop the model policies, opt-out forms, and acceptable use forms.

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.
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REVISIONS:
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