New community college students might get their first year for free if Governor Jerry Brown signs off on a new bipartisan bill.
Last week the Assembly sent Brown AB 19, which would waive fees ranging from $1,100 to $1,400 depending on how many classes a student takes.
Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), who proposed the bill, thinks it will prompt as many as 19,000 students who may not have been able to go to college go for a higher education:
“What we’re truly talking about is creating a college-going culture in our community."
AB 19 does face some opposition, especially from Jerry Brown's finance department, which argues that the bill will cost California more than $30 million in part by giving waivers to students who don't need financial aid.
In the last 30 years, more than 5 million low-income California students got tuition waivers through the Board of Governors Fee Waiver program.
Santiago still pushes for the bill:
"It’s easy to pontificate from the Ivory Tower, but the rich kids aren’t the ones going to community college who would benefit from this.”