New bill would require California colleges to let homeless students park overnight (


According to several recent surveys, around one in five — or about 400,000 — California community college students has experienced homelessness in the last year. Thousands more are at risk of becoming homeless.

Calling that number “shocking, alarming and tragic,” Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, on Tuesday outlined a new bill — AB 302 — that would force community colleges to allow homeless students to sleep inside their vehicles in campus parking lots overnight.

“Shame on us if we turn our backs on these students and choose to ignore them,” Berman told reporters in Sacramento.

Under the proposal, which the state Assembly’s higher education committee was scheduled to discuss Tuesday, colleges would have to provide students in good standing with overnight access to campus parking lots by July 1, 2020. The schools could set rules — banning alcohol and drugs, for instance — and hours of operation,and would be required to connect students with available resources, such as food pantries.

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