Governor Brown Signs Bill to Make it ‘Faster and Easier’ for Native American Students to get into College

This is a press release from the office of Senator Mike McGuire:

Senator Mike McGuire co-authored the bill with Senators Holly Mitchell, Bill Monning and Bill Dodd, and Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Jim Wood.

Sacramento, CA – More than one in three Native American kids live in poverty, and 22 percent ages 25 and older have not finished high school, the lowest of any racial/ethnic demographic group across all schools. Only 13 percent of Native Americans have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 29 percent of the US population.

In response, Senator Mike McGuire has successfully advanced a bill that takes this issue head on and provides priority registration at California Community Colleges to Native American students who live in poverty and are enrolled in CalWORKS known as the Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (Tribal TANF for short).

SB 164 has been signed by Governor Jerry Brown and will take effect January 1, 2018.

In 2013, California leaders granted some of California’s poorest students (CalWORKS recipients) priority registration at California Community Colleges. Providing easier access to community college will help lift low income families and kids out of poverty if they have the opportunity to enroll into college or career training programs. Priority registration leads to faster degree and certificate completion, more flexibility to balance work schedules and family responsibilities, and a supportive college environment. However, students receiving Tribal TANF were not granted that same priority registration.

“Despite the highest poverty and lowest education attainment levels in California, the poorest Native American students were never granted priority registration to community colleges,” said Senator Mike McGuire. “Education is one of the best tools to lift people out of poverty and Native American students deserve fast and easy access to community college just like everyone else.”

California currently provides priority registration for veterans, disabled students, homeless, foster youth, and CalWORKS recipients. Native American students who are on CALWORKS were never granted this same access.

SB 164 removes a significant barrier to breaking out of poverty through higher education by ensuring that all TANF/CALWORKS students receive the benefit of priority registration.

The bill received broad, bi-partisan support and passed every legislative committee in both the Senate and Assembly without receiving any votes in opposition. The bill was co-authored by Senators Holly Mitchell, Bill Monning and Bill Dodd, and Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Jim Wood.



  • Ok. Nice,but what makes you a “native american”?

  • Casinos didn’t do the trick I guess.

    • Not every tribe have casinos. There are poor tribes too. Just like everyone else.

    • Yeah just like killing them in masses didn’t cover up the problem of stealing their land and resources either…casinos don’t do the trick because it is just a ploy for state and white business to suckle away at it and use it as a scapegoat to condescend to them just like what your doing now.

  • I’m not to big on affirmative action plans, but in this instance, I completely support this bill.

  • Thousands of tuition free online college courses are everywhere online.
    Data base:

  • Here’s another handout redman. Fuck you jerry brown. Give back the land you fuckers stole long ago. But that won’t happen. So here’s a handout. More of the same to follow. Liberal [edit] think this is the answer.

    • True it is not the answer. Free College is bullshit based on the color of skin. Why should a native American get free tuition and not a European descendant? Nobody should get it. Just another of moon beams ideas. Talk about Trump? How in the world did this ding dong become Governor?

      • Because their must be more fellow and fillie ding dongers in California that voted for this -great governor. Reap the whorl wind my sweet flower children!!!

    • Gerry brown stole their land? He is a dxxk faced mr burns looking old commie but I didn’t think he was that old.

    • Nazi talk.
      MY heritage, MY land, MY ancestors, MY traditions, MY woes, MY …
      Sorry, but America is a diverse country, not a supremacists country.
      We work together because we love each other. I’m sorry you feel no love towards anybody not of your own liking.

    • Not a handout idiot, it’s pre registration. Get your facts straight.
      But don’t forget the handouts given to your kind to move out here to the west, whilst eradicating the ” red man”. But hey what would you know, Marines aren’t all there and most of the time they have homosexual tendencies..

  • Sounds like the problem is that they are not finishing high school. Parents need to be responsible and keep their kids in school and get a diploma. Then enter college like everyone else. An ‘easy in’ to college won’t help without a high school education. This is not fixing anything; and more than likely end up with college dropouts.

    • Totally agree with you. It starts and ends in high school.but how i read it. Its only commu ity college not a university in california. Anybody can get in and have assistance and get free schooling for so long in community college

  • Does Mike mcguire look like Jim carry in that mask movie or what!

  • Has anyone stopped to ask , why? Anyone remember how children were taken from their traditional schools and forced to learn whitemans culture ? Forced to wear shoes etc ? Is this not more of the same ? A peice of paper saying someone showed up for 4 years doesnt mean they learned anything . Infact most teachers arent even teaching classes they have degrees in , ever think that people see it as a waste of time and resource ? Stop trying to convince people that your paper is worth so much,because it isnt.

  • Getting good grades in HS is how you get into college faster and easier already .

  • There are many barriers to Native youth receiving the same opportunities and other youth. One obvious challenge is the isolation of the Reservations, lack of transportation to higher education ( a daily commute to College of the Redwoods from Hoopa is not really feasible), lack of internet opportunities for those free online classes and to be honest, daily facing of comments like those here ” redman” “dirty indian” etc. An education or vocational training is key to lifting individuals and communities out of poverty, which benefits entire communities with higher tax revenues, and lower costs of public assistance- a win win situation.

    • It seems like some of these issues need to be addressed first? How can you thrive in higher education if not prepared in high school? It is a waste of resources and a loss of an open college spot if people are not prepared and drop out. I believe that anyone who receives a free ride to college and drops out should have to repay. I knew a guy with a free ride and was getting paid more that he made working. He dropped out within a few months.

    • tm……..Physical location is not just a Hoopa inconvenience. The same thing applies to Mad River, Blocksburg, So Humboldt, Willow Creek and other rural areas. Yet, many from those areas find a way to get to CR or HSU. No excuse there.

    • I am merely pointing out that for along time many didnt see what was offered as a chance , it is more of a this is how you need to do things , the old ways are being forgotten and now the whiteman is forced to teach our future ?

      • Ya that sucks, I don’t really see a way forward though unless there’s a native school that could teach things that would help natives prosper? Is there something like that?

  • It sounds like they should be finding a way to help at the High School level? I think that some see the “free money” as a reason that they don’t need education? I have a hard time with giving priority based on nationality and not grades and hard work.

  • Diesel DRW - Curb Weight 7762 lbs

    Getting into college is one thing. Graduating is quite another… Shall we make it “easy” to graduate too? Why not just send out diplomas, Jerry?

    The biggest part of going to college is learning to be an adult, and being responsible for yourself while you work towards a goal.

    If you work for something, it will be valuable to you. If you are just given everything, you will respect nothing.

    • As a former teacher, I know that kids who have support succeed better. Some kids have more support than others. Say if you have a kid whose parents went to college then they likely have the knowledge of how to jump through hoops and parents who understand that the student needs out of class time to complete assignments, etc. This bill looks like it is just trying to provide some of that support and level the playing field for kids who start behind kids from more affluent homes.

      • With or without priority registration, these numbers provided are across the country. Not just numbers for California. Let’s look across the country and see that Thousands of enrolled Natives have attended College over past 25 years or more. Now, where are the Native Doctors, Lawyers or other Professionals? Most got Business Degrees and seriously, never started a Business. Natives are the largest number of students that have defaulted on Student loans. So, how will making priority registration make a successful student? I think we all have to learn to work hard and earn your way to success. Making priority registration is a small issue. How do we ensure these Students will be successful after getting those classes?

    • I am a Northern Pomo from Mendo. There are many Native students that have hopes of getting into a college but do to their family or tribes’ financial situation it may seem impossible. Round Valley Rez Members are surely not rolling in money from their tiny casino. Ignorance speaks through some of your comments. I would challenge those negative people openly. The Genocide done to Us has impacted most lives of those that resides on the Rez for generations. Maybe if the Truth of how America was taken from the Natives there most likely would be more Empathy and Greater Understanding. Hitler got his idea of Genocide from the USA’s Annilation of My Native People. I am proud to say I had the Blessings of being with a Traditional Doctored Dancer and he held his Master’s in Admin of Education. A lifelong Teaching Degree. Before you speak I hope you would know what your talking about so you don’t look so foolish. By the way my late husband’s name was Howard Rudy Chavez.

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