Accomplishments – Equity Alert: Time to Close the Loopholes in Remedial Education at Community Colleges

Two college graduates stand in the sunlight smiling.

In February 2022, The Education Trust—West authored Equity Alert: Time to Close the Loopholes in Remedial Education at Community Colleges that outlined and addressed the three most significant loopholes in AB 705 that disproportionately affect Black and Latinx students. That report emphasizes recommendations that radically reimagine access to transfer-level courses and curtail traditional remediation. As a result of our leadership and Equity 8 advocacy in collaboration with legislative and coalition partners, we are excited to see that the following recommendations outlined in our Equity Alert have been adopted by the Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom:

Closing the Placement Loophole

AB 1705 clarifies the intent of AB 705 and closes the requires Community colleges to place and enroll students into English and mathematic transfer-level courses, thereby closing the placement loophole.

Closing the Maximize Success Loophole

AB 1705 explicitly stipulates that students must have access to and be directly enrolled in courses that make it more likely for a student to enter and complete transfer-level coursework in English and mathematics within a one-year timeframe, maximizing the likelihood of student success.

Closing the Corequisite Loophole

The 2022-23 California State Budget provides $64 million to establish the Equitable Placement and Completion Grant Program to support the implementation of equitable placement and completion policies (AB 705 Chapter 745, Statutes of 2017). This budget allocation funds the expansion of high-impact corequisites that support student success in transfer-level coursework, thereby closing a notable loophole around accessibility to co-requisites.

Funding for California Community College Chancellor’s Office to hold institutions accountable and monitor equitable implementation of AB 705

The $3.9 million (2022-23) and $1.4 million (2024-25) ongoing allocation for increased staff capacity to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office will support the equitable implementation of AB 705 and other critical educational equity work.

California leaders have shown their commitment to equitable placement and completion reform by adopting these measures. We thank Assemblymember Irwin for your outstanding leadership! Thank you, Governor Newsom, for your commitment to educational equity! We look forward to supporting the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, community colleges, and equity partners in implementing these key changes that will promote greater educational equity, increase transfer and degree completion, and support California’s workforce.

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.