The Association of Raza Educators (A.R.E.) applauds the efforts of Assemblyman Gil Cedillo for his tireless work in support of higher education for undocumented youth, and Governor Jerry Brown for signing AB 130, which allows universities to open private scholarships to undocumented youth. However, since there is no guarantee that universities will oblige legislators, it is essential that the sister bill—Assembly Bill (AB) 131—be pulled out of suspense from the Senate Appropriations committee and signed by the governor, as well.
AB 131 would allow undocumented youth (under AB 540) to apply for: (1) state-administered student financial aid; (2) a California Community College fee waiver; and (3) would expand eligibility for in-state tuition to include attendance and graduation from California technical and adult schools.
Despite the fact that AB 131 limits state financial aid for undocumented youth to only those funds remaining after all resident students have received awards, A.R.E. nevertheless supports this bill, viewing it as a step in the right direction. However, A.R.E. strongly believes that undocumented youth should not be the last in line to benefit from these funds. Education is a fundamental human right and A.R.E. will continue to struggle until educational opportunities at all levels become a reality for all students, regardless if citizenship status.
Please join us in signing the petition urging the Governor and state politicians of California to make this human right a reality.
The Association of Raza Educators
The Association of Raza Educators (A.R.E.) was established to uphold the rights and liberties of the Raza community. Education is essential to the preservation of civil and human rights and provides the foundation for all political and economic progress. Education must be a basic right of all people regardless of citizenship status, and making this right a reality is the fundamental objective of A.R.E.
As educators, the Association of Raza Educators recognizes that many of our brightest students struggle to receive a higher education because they are not eligible for federal financial aid and many scholarships because of their citizenship status. ARE recognizes the need to provide funding and thus created the ARE Undocumented Student Scholarship, which has awarded nearly $80,000 in scholarships across California. However, this grassroots effort is not nearly enough for the estimated 25,000 undocumented students that graduate from high school in California each year.