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Assembly Bill 278 – Establishes The Dream Resource Center Grant Program
Existing law authorizes the governing board of a school district to provide a comprehensive educational counseling program for all pupils enrolled in the school district, including counseling in developing pupil knowledge of financial aid planning for postsecondary education, including, among others, financial aid programs and resources for foster and homeless youth.
AB 278 establishes the Dream Resource Center Grant Program, a four-year grant program for school districts, county offices of education, or charter schools (Local Agency), for the purpose of providing pupils, including undocumented pupils, in grades 9 to 12, specified support. The support includes but is not limited to financial aid support, social services support, state-funded immigration legal services, academic opportunities, and parent and family workshops.
AB 278 requires the State Department of Education, in administering the Program, to review applications and award grants based off of a tiered point system that prioritizes applications for Local Agencies that apply for funds for multiple school sites, are in underserved areas, that serve large numbers of English learners, and that serve pupils who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
AB 278 authorizes a Local Agency, including those that have already established a Dream Resource Center at one or more school sites, to apply for the grant. Local Agencies that receive a Dream Resource Center Grant must use it create a Dream Resource Center or for supplementing, but not supplanting, the funding for an existing Dream Resource Center that provides counseling in developing pupil knowledge of financial aid planning for postsecondary education, including, among others, financial aid programs and resources for foster and homeless youth.
AB 278 requires the State Department of Education, on or before June 1, 2026, to submit a report to the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature detailing the successes, best practices, barriers or constraints, and outcomes of Dream Resource Centers funded with Dream Resource Center Grant.
This bill is conditioned on an appropriation by the Legislature for these purposes in the annual Budget Act or other statute.
(AB 278 adds Article 4 (commencing with Section 54680) to Chapter 9 of Part 29 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code, relating to pupil services.)