SB 1146 is a bill before the California legislature that would take Cal Grants away from students who attend accredited California religious colleges. All of the victims of SB 1146 are low-income students, and 3/4 of them are racial minorities. SB 1146 would force students to either give up on college altogether or try to find another school where they could use their grant.
There simply is not space in the already overcrowded University of California/California State University systems to accept all of these displaced college students. SB 1146 would thus force many poor African American and Latino students to give up on their dreams of being the first in their family to finish college.
For students who are able to transfer to a state college, they will be forced into schools with dramatically lower graduation rates. The four-year graduation rate for Cal Grant students in the religious schools targeted by SB 1146 is 59%, compared to only 28% in the state schools SB 1146 is forcing them into. Poor and minority students have enough stacked against them without SB 1146 forcing them out of the colleges they chose into ones that fail much more often in equipping their students to graduate.
Whatever the political spin SB 1146’s sponsors are placing on the bill, the numbers make it clear that SB 1146 will kill the dream of college for thousands of poor minority students, and force the remainder into schools where most of these displaced students will not be equipped with the tools to graduate. The sponsors of SB 1146 can say it’s about ending discrimination, but SB 1146 would be one of the most backward and discriminatory bills passed in years in our state.