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California is home to the California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC), which educate thousands of students every year and help them build strong futures for themselves and their communities. CSU and UC require that high school students complete certain courses, known as A-G courses, to be eligible for admission.

Policymakers can improve CSU and UC access by reforming course requirements so that all students have an equitable chance to pursue higher education.

However, California high school students do not have an equal opportunity to successfully fulfill this requirement on their pathways to higher education. In 2020-21, many student groups graduated high school without completing the A-G pathway at rates that were higher than the state average of 48%. These groups include students with disabilities, English language learners, students experiencing homelessness, and students of color.

Policymakers can improve CSU and UC access by reforming course requirements so that all students have an equitable chance to pursue higher education, irrespective of their socioeconomic backgrounds.

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For many years, high costs of living have made it difficult for many Californians to keep themselves and their families safely housed, healthy, and nourished. Recent high inflation has made it even harder for people to thrive in California communities.

When basic costs go up, Californians with the lowest incomes are particularly likely to struggle to make ends meet. Around 3 in 5 California households with incomes below $50,000 had trouble affording basic expenses in June. And due to past and continued discrimination, about one-half of Black, Latinx, and other Californians of color reported struggling with basic expenses in recent months, compared to about 30% of white Californians.

Policymakers should ensure policies to address recent price increases prioritize the needs of people with low incomes, who were already left out of sharing the state’s pre-pandemic prosperity and who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and inflation.

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California workers deserve to be safe, healthy, and thrive. State leaders created COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave to ensure workers were able to take time off to care for themselves and loved ones while following public health guidelines. This temporary policy lapses once again on September 30, 2022. Without it, many workers may have just three paid sick days a year.

During the early 2022 surge in cases, the number of Californians who reported that they were not working because they had coronavirus symptoms or were caring for someone who did increased by 320% — soaring to nearly 1 million adults statewide.

Without COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave, workers may have to choose between working while sick and losing pay or even their job. Extending supplemental paid sick leave is critical so workers can care for themselves or family. The state should also require employers to provide 10 paid sick days a year to support workers’ health and safety beyond the pandemic.

Note: This post was updated in July 2022 to reflect changes in state policy proposals.

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A safe, stable, and affordable home is the foundation for all people to prosper. Yet ongoing housing affordability challenges mean that many California renters – especially Californians of color and those with low incomes – are struggling to meet housing costs.

Renters of color, especially Black renters, are more likely to be behind on rent. These disparities are intrinsically linked with racist housing, employment, and education policies that have blocked Californians of color from opportunities to achieve housing and economic stability. In addition, about 1 in 6 California renters with incomes less than $50,000 reported being late on rent in recent months.

By removing barriers to affordable housing development and prioritizing meaningful funding to expand the supply of these homes, policymakers can ensure everyone has access to an affordable home. Doing so allows Californians the opportunity to build economic security and avoid the devastating effects of eviction or homelessness.

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