New Bill Will Help Native Americans With Higher Education

SACRAMENTO – A bill by 2nd District Senator Mike McGuire will have a big impact on low income Native Americans looking to further their education. SB-164 was signed by Governor Jerry Brown and will take effect in January of 2018.

McGuire said that more than one in three Native American kids live in poverty and 22% of adults 25 or older have not finished high school. That is the highest of any ethnic demographic group across all schools.

The bill will provide easier access to community college and priority registration. McGuire felt this will lead to faster degree and certificate completions, more flexibility to balance work schedules and family responsibilities and garner a supportive college environment.

The State of California provides priority registration for veterans, disabled students, foster youth, and CalWorks recipients. Native American students who are on CalWorks were never granted this same access. This bill will remove the significant barrier. It also was a bipartisan success story not receiving any negative votes through every step of the legislative process.