Tuesday, July 16, 2024

GUEST BLOGGER SERIES: Assemblymember Pedro Nava "California is Failing the Next Generation of Latinos"


Latinovations would like to thank Assemblymember Pedro Nava for his contribution to La Plaza.

California ’s 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education established that any student in the top third of their class would receive automatic entry to California State University (CSU). Those in the top eighth of their class would gain entry to the University of California (UC). And, tuition would be free for all.

Fifty years later, the state is not only failing to meet these goals, it is specifically failing Latinos.

  • Nearly half (46%) of California ’s K-12 students are Latino.
  • Yet, only 34% of graduates are Latino.
  • Only 21% of Latinos high school graduates qualify for CSU or UC.
  • Consequently, only 12% of CSU students and 8% of UC students are Latino.

California ’s budget woes have monumentally impacted our delivery of education. Classrooms at both the K-12 and higher education levels are severely overcrowded. At the lower level, this contributes greatly to our dropout rate. Overcrowded college classrooms mean students are turned away from courses they need to graduate – which in turn forces them to pay tuition for additional semesters in an effort to complete the required coursework.

College tuition has also increased an astounding nine times in the past seven years. Recent studies show that Latinos receive less financial aid than other ethnic groups. Tragically, those Latinos that do make it to college in 2010 will now pay higher tuition, with less assistance, for longer periods of time.

It is time for families across California to stand up and demand the education that was promised them.

Pedro Nava, the son of Mexican immigrants, was elected to the California State Assembly in 2004, the first Latino to represent his district.  He is a former Deputy District Attorney, responsible for targeted narcotics prosecution and has a strong record on public safety. He served on the California Coastal Commission, appointed by then Speaker Cruz Bustamante, where he earned the #1 coastal protection voting record. He has fought to increase educational opportunities for all.