The California Assembly unanimously passed new legislation on Wednesday to advance reforms to remedial education in the California Community Colleges system.
The legislation, Assembly Bill 1705, builds off a law passed in 2017, which prevented community colleges from requiring remedial English or math courses without first considering students’ high school GPA and coursework and determining they are “highly unlikely to succeed” in classes that earn transferable college credits.
Colleges have lagged in implementing the prior law, Assembly Bill 705, so the new bill stresses that colleges must enroll students in the math and English classes where they have the highest chances of completing transfer requirements. It also prohibits colleges from requiring students to repeat math and English classes passed in high school, among other measures to enroll more students in credit-bearing coursework.
“Remedial classes cost students time and money and don’t move them closer to their goals,” Jasmine Prasad, vice president of legislative affairs for the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, said in a press release. “AB 1705 will help more students achieve their educational and career goals without being delayed or derailed by remedial courses.”
The bill, which now heads to the State Senate, has the support of Prasad’s organization as well as the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center, among other organizations.
“AB 1705 is an opportunity to address placement practices that have historically excluded thousands of students of color,” Adrián Trinidad, assistant director for community college partnerships at the USC Race and Equity Center, said in the press release. “To make our community colleges racially just, we need to upend a status quo that frames students of color as deficient and incapable of success.”