High School Seniors to Receive Diplomas Under Lorena Gonzalez Bill Approved by State Senate

Friday, August 28, 2020

SACRAMENTO – (Friday, Aug. 28, 2020) – High school seniors who were on track to graduate before their schooling was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic will be able to receive their graduating diploma under legislation by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) that passed the State Senate today 39 to 0.

“A high school senior shouldn’t lose out on their graduating diploma because an unprecedented pandemic upended their school year,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez said. “This bill removes at least one obstacle in these students’ path toward a stable future.”

The bill, Assembly Bill 1350, will need a concurrence vote in the Assembly before heading to the governor’s desk for consideration.

In response to the Governor’s Stay at Home Order to contain the spread of COVID-19, many school districts moved to distance learning models in March that use online methods. These digital learning tools have not been equally accessible, as nearly a third of California students don’t have a high-speed internet connection. This “homework gap” is even more pronounced in Black, Latino and lower-income households.

Given the unprecedented economic, social and health impacts of COVID-19, many older students have also faced added family responsibilities that detract from their education. This includes taking care of an ill family member, working to supplement the household income, and taking on childcare responsibilities.

Assembly Bill 1350 would allow school districts or other education offices to grant a high school diploma to students who meet the following criteria:

  • Students must have been in their senior year of HS during the 2019-20 school year;
  • Students are on track to graduate as of March 1, 2020;
  • Students were not able to complete statewide graduation requirements as a result of COVID-19.

For questions on AB 1350 or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez, contact Sami Gallegos: samantha.gallegos@asm.ca.gov

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez represents California’s 80th Assembly District, located in southern San Diego County, including the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, and National City. She serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Women in the Workplace, and Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus. For more information on Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez visit https://a80.asmdc.org/