“students will be earning $22 an hour, $6.60 more per hour than California’s minimum wage”
This is just more political activism dressed up as the pursuit of scholarship.
Campus Reform reports:
California college students to be paid for climate change work
More than 3,000 low-income California (CA) students will be “taking climate action” to receive $10,000 towards their tuition costs.
The stipend comes from the recently formed California College Corps which provides the stipend in exchange for 450 hours of community service work, which includes climate change activism.
The program began last year, but now includes 3,200 students across 46 CA universities, “roughly the size of the U.S. Peace Corps,” as noted by California Volunteers, a group affiliated with CA’s Office of the Governor.
500 of the students are AB 540 CA Dream Act students, a policy passed by the CA legislature in 2001 which allows DACA-status students to qualify for in-state tuition.
As noted on the brochure for the program, “50%” of the participants will be “tutors or mentors in K-12 education,” “28%” will work “to address food insecurity,” but the remaining “22%” will be “taking climate action.”
Campus Reform searched numerous sources to find details of what “taking climate action” refers to, but found no specific details listed online.
Cristian Valdivia Chief Communications and External Affairs Officer at California Volunteers explained in an email to Campus Reform that “climate actions include wildfire mitigation (ie: home hardening), energy conservation, urban greening (ie: tree planting and community gardens), waste diversion, food rescue and environmental education.”
But other state leaders have spoken vaguely about what climate action looks like.
In a January New York Times article, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf was quoted alluding that he will ensure “hundreds and hundreds” of climate change initiatives will be available for students in programs such as College Corps. But did mention a specific initiative.
The 450 hours are expected to be completed over the academic year. At $10,000, students will be earning $22 an hour, $6.60 more per hour than California’s minimum wage, for performing what is typically considered volunteer work.
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