SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Steve Fox (D-Palmdale) on Wednesday announced that his Assembly Bill (AB) 736 that may eventually pave the way for a new California State University Campus in the Antelope Valley, was approved by the Assembly Higher Education Committee with a vote of 10-1.
The bill authorizes leaders of the California State University system to study the need for a four-year university in the Antelope Valley.
“Since the year 1990, the population in the Assembly district has increased by 85 percent,” Fox said. “We have more high school graduates than ever, but eight percent fewer college graduates than the rest of the state because students lack access to a university.”
The California State University Antelope Valley bill requires the Chancellor of the CSU system to conduct a feasibility study to determine the necessity for an Antelope Valley campus. The study will include elements such as enrollment projections, regional workforce needs, the potential for job creation in the region, and the effects of a new campus on other local educational institutions.
The study will be funded by nonstate resources.
Although CSU Bakersfield has a campus center in Lancaster co-located at Antelope Valley College, budget cuts have resulted in a reduction in classes and student enrollment.
Meanwhile, the Antelope Valley has a critical shortage of licensed health care workers, engineers, and math and science teachers.
“When students graduate from any university, they generally stay and provide their new skills to that community,” Fox said. “We need this bright new talent. Access to education is our future.”
Assemblymember Steve Fox represents California’s 36th Assembly District, comprised of the communities of Antelope Valley, and includes the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale as well as the Los Angeles County communities of Quartz Hill, Acton, Little Rock, Baker, Lake Los Angeles, and Wrightwood and the Kern County communities of Rosamond, Mojave, Reefer City, North Edwards, Boron, and California City.
For more information on Assembly Bill (AB) 736, visit www.asmdc.org/fox.
(Information via press release from the office of Assemblymember Steve Fox.)