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July 18, 2008

The Honorable Tom Torlakson
Chair, Senate Appropriations Committee
California State Senate
State Capitol, Room 5050
Sacramento, CA  95814

RE: AB 1409 (Portantino) Pupils: concurrent enrollment in community college and secondary or elementary school, as amended March 12, 2008 – SUPPORT

Dear Senator Torlakson:

The Community College League of California (League) is in support of AB 1409 (Portantino): Pupils: concurrent enrollment in community college and secondary or elementary school.

AB 1409, as amended, would provide that a high school principal may recommend for community college summer attendance up to 10% (it is now at 5%) of the total number of pupils who completed any particular grade level in the prior school year. The bill would also allow community colleges to continue to offer several kinds of classes, including the following, beyond January 1, 2009:

  • Lower-division, college-level courses for college credit that are designated as part of the UC or CSU general education transfer curriculum;
  • College-level, occupational courses for credit assigned a priority code in the Student Accountability Model and which are part of a sequence of courses leading to a vocational degree or certificate; and
  • Courses that are necessary to assist pupils who are high school seniors who have not passed the California High School Exit Exam, if the course does not offer college credit in English or mathematics.

Studies have shown that concurrent enrollment increases the rigor of secondary and postsecondary education. These proposed changes to existing concurrent enrollment restrictions are crucial because they serve the educational needs of local communities (especially in rural regions of the state) and spark the interest of students to pursue a college education or career and technical training. Concurrent enrollment opportunities increase student access to advanced curriculum and alternative venues for learning, comprehensive program offerings lacking in rural areas, and resources necessary to support student learning and success. 

In addition to increasing students access to advanced education opportunities, AB 1409 will enhance partnerships between local K-12 schools and community colleges by encouraging better usage of facilities, simplifying the enrollment process and procedures, supporting high school exit exam preparation, and helping efforts in drop-out prevention and interventions. Last but not least, AB 1409 would save the State money. When a student completes a college requirement while still in high school, the State does not have to pay at the higher UC or USC rate. Also, if students complete college earlier, the State saves both in financial aid funds and in support for colleges. Overall, AB 1409 would provide students a more efficient road to become trained and skilled members of California’s workforce.

The League appreciates your thoughtful consideration of support for AB 1409. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the League’s support of AB 1409, please contact our office at (916) 441-0353.


Bonnie Lou Slosson
Director, Governmental Relations

cc: The Honorable Anthony Portantino
Members, Senate Appropriations Committee


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