Wilk's Early/Middle College High School Bill Dies in Appropriations Committee

SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Scott Wilk's, R-Santa Clarita, AB 542 was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill was not taken up for a vote and is now considered dead due to legislative deadlines.

AB 542, sponsored by College of the Canyons (COC), would have exempted Early College High School and Middle College High School students from caps on enrollment and apportionment funding for Physical Education courses provided by Community Colleges. These unique high schools focus on serving students who are under-represented in the college environment, have high potential but are low performing, or are first-generation college students. These programs, such as Academy of the Canyons at COC, allow students to take all of their high school requirements on a college campus while simultaneously earning college credit.

“It was a huge disappointment that the Senate Appropriations did not see the value of this bill. These innovative schools are required to facilitate PE courses for these students in order to meet state standards and AB 542 would have helped these innovative high schools succeed,” Wilk said.

“Early and Middle College High Schools are proven to help students graduate more quickly from college,” said COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook.  “Supporting this bill means investing in student access and success, which should be a top priority for our state given its need for a well-educated workforce and the governor's emphasis on college completion.”

AB 542 had passed all other committees it was referred to unanimously before being held on the suspense file in Senate Appropriations.

“Given the bill's broad-based support, and the fact that it would have been funded by already-approved budgets for community colleges, I can't imagine what could have stalled this cost-effective, common sense legislation,” Dr. Van Hook said.