Beall Named "Champion Of College Opportunity"

July 29, 2009
Contact: Rodney Foo @ (408) 282-8920
San Jose Assemblymember honored for AB 440, the College Student Success Act Vows to fight anti-education Senator who killed the bill

The Campaign for College Opportunity presented its prestigious “Champion of College Opportunity’’ award to Assemblymember Jim Beall, Jr. today on the south steps of the State Capitol.

The Campaign for College Opportunity, a non-profit organization whose goal is to ensure that California produces an additional 1 million college graduates by 2025, recognized Beall for introducing Assembly Bill 440, a proposal to let community college districts award an Associates of Arts or Science degree to students who meet the requirements to transfer to California State University or University of California campuses.

“I am truly honored to receive this award,’’ Beall said. “It’s gratifying to be recognized by the Campaign for College Opportunity, an organization I admire because of their mission to make higher education accessible to every California student who wants to improve their life through learning.’’

“The Campaign for College Opportunity is pleased to recognize Jim Beall with this honor,” said Michele Siqueiros, executive director of the Campaign for College Opportunity.

“Assemblymember Beall has shown time and time again that he is a true champion for college students in our state,’’ Siquerios said. “We are especially appreciative of his efforts to recognize the hard work and dedication of community college students through his sponsorship of the Associate Degree in Transfer. Assemblymember Beall is determined to ensure that all students have access to and succeed in college.”

The proposed degree would give transfer students, whose academic careers are interrupted for economic or personal reason, something tangible to show for their community college course work and increase their marketability in the midst of this long recession. The bill had numerous supporters including the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the California Chamber of Commerce, and the California Postsecondary Education Commission.

Although the AB 440 had sufficient votes to get out of the Senate Education Committee, the chair – Sen. Gloria Romero – bullied two committee members into changing their votes, thereby killing the bill. Beall vows to bring the bill back.

“I’m not giving up,’’ Beall said. “I won’t let Sen. Romero’s abuse of power for personal reasons that have nothing to do with public policy stop an important bill that can help thousands of college students.’’