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Expanding Opportunities for CA Students

PHOTO: University of California President Janet Napolitano supports Senate Bill 1210 to expand college financial aid for illegal immigrants. Courtesy: University of California.
PHOTO: University of California President Janet Napolitano supports Senate Bill 1210 to expand college financial aid for illegal immigrants. Courtesy: University of California.
April 11, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California lawmakers are considering two different proposals to increase educational opportunities for California students from the youngest to the oldest.

One bill, the Kindergarten Readiness Act, would make voluntary transitional kindergarten available to every four-year-old by offering free preschool to those whose families can't afford it.

The other bill expands college financial aid to illegal immigrants.

The California Dream Loan program has the support of UC President Janet Napolitano.

"The University of California is a huge engine of social mobility,” she says. “And you hear story after story of students whose lives were changed and their families' lives were changed because they had the ability to go to the university.”

Supporters of the new bill, SB 1210, say the loans will help undocumented students close the financial aid gap of up to $6,000, which could eliminate the need for a student to take multiple jobs or drop out of college.

Napolitano says the bill is about opportunity and fairness.

"We should work as hard as we can to ensure that they have every chance to succeed,” she says.

The state already has extended in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants and made them eligible to apply for Cal Grants.


Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA