Credit: Courtesy of SBUSD

In addition to Black and Latinx high school graduates, low-income students, students with disabilities, emerging multilinguals, and homeless high school graduates met University of California and California State University eligibility requirements at significantly lower rates as compared to white and Asian students in Santa Barbara Unified School District in 2021.

A-G requirements are the minimum transcript requirements for students to be eligible to apply to UC and CSU directly from high school. In 2021, 44.86 percent of homeless graduates, 6.36 percent of students with disabilities, and 40.77 percent of low-income graduates met A-G requirements, while 83.74 percent of Asian graduates and 72.88 percent of white graduates met A-G in the same graduating class.

Despite these disproportionalities, Santa Barbara Unified has ramped up its efforts in recent years to increase UC/CSU readiness in its student population as a whole. The district’s rates increased dramatically from 28.4 percent in 2018 to 54.9 percent in 2020. The district predicts a rate of 57.15 percent for the class of 2021, higher than the state average which has been at 50 percent the past three years.

But despite its efforts, the district acknowledged last month that it’s not preparing students to achieve UC/CSU eligibility at equitable rates and something more needs to be done. At its last board meeting on June 22, district staff suggested altering the high school graduation requirements to fulfill the minimum A-G requirements by requiring three years of math, two years of a language other than English, and a C- or higher grade to pass. 

District staff will hold a study session with the board to delve deeper into the reason behind why some demographic groups meeting eligibility criteria more than others and the best ways to correct it, including altering high school graduation requirements. 

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