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  • Higher Education
  • University of California
Michele Coyle
Michele Coyle (Miller Barondess LLP)

A Riverside Superior Court jury has awarded a former UC Riverside counsel $2.5 million, finding that university officials violated state law when they fired her in retaliation for reporting allegations of sex discrimination against women.

Michele Coyle, who served as chief campus counsel from 2006 to 2012, alleged that she and other women were subjected to "rampant gender discrimination" by Dallas M. Rabenstein, who became UC Riverside executive vice chancellor in 2010. 

In a civil complaint filed in March 2015, Coyle alleged that Rabenstein favored men for promotions and salary increases, intentionally misreported data on gender-based salary differences for a federal audit, refused to accommodate women with young children, called some women "biddies" and labeled others who asked for raises as "overly aggressive."

  • Higher Education
  • University of California
UC Berkeley students speak out against a proposed tuition increase at a Board of Regents meeting in January.
UC Berkeley students speak out against a proposed tuition increase at a Board of Regents meeting in January. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

University of California students plan to lobby state legislators Tuesday for more state funding in order to avoid a tuition increase in the upcoming academic year. 

Students from UC campuses in Berkeley, Los Angeles, Irvine and San Diego say they will speak out at an Assembly hearing Tuesday afternoon in Sacramento, demanding that state legislators reinvest in the 10-campus public research system. The state share of per-student funding has plummeted from $19,100 in 1990-91 to about $7,160 in 2016-17, according to UC data. 

Meanwhile tuition and fees have more than tripled over the last 15 years, rising to $12,630 for California students in 2017-18 after the UC Board of Regents approved the first increase in seven years. Regents were set to vote on another increase in January, but pressure by students and some board members led them to put off a decision until May to allow more time to lobby for more state funds.

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Inside the well-worn choir room at Van Nuys High School, a scuffed-up old grand piano rumbles as composer David O pounds out slow, bluesy chords.

"Who I am," the choir sings soulfully above his accompaniment, their voices rising in pitch with each word, "is a woman who fights a good fight."

Alysia Evans' son was 4 in 2013, when a man went on a shooting rampage in Santa Monica, killing five people before officers killed him. Her son was in preschool a few blocks from Santa Monica College, where the attack came to an end.

The preschool was placed on lockdown that day, and everyone there was safe, but "it's the first panic attack I've had in my life," said Evans, an attorney who lives on the Westside.

A former student who had been expelled for disciplinary reasons opened fire at a South Florida high school Wednesday, killing 17 people and wounding at least a dozen others, authorities said.

The suspected gunman, Nikolas Cruz, 19, was quickly arrested "without incident" after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said. Cruz had made "disturbing" posts on social media before the attack, Israel said.

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Police take a girl into custody after a shooting at Los Angeles' Sal Castro Middle School.
Police take a girl into custody after a shooting at Los Angeles' Sal Castro Middle School. (KTLA-TV)

In and around Los Angeles:

The L.A. Unified board narrowly voted to approve a new three-year benefits package.

A former teacher at L.A.’s Sal Castro Middle School said one of the victims of the recent shooting there still has a bullet lodged in his head.

The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday approved a three-year benefits package that contains some costs but falls well short of the savings that district officials say is needed to keep the school system solvent.

The 60,000 employees of the Los Angeles Unified School District are not among the nation's highest paid, but most enjoy comprehensive medical benefits for themselves and their families without paying monthly premiums. Such subsidies are rare in the workplace.

A boy who was wounded in a shooting at Sal Castro Middle School nearly two weeks ago has been released from a hospital but still has a bullet in his head, his former teacher said.

A bullet struck 12-year-old Issa Al-Bayati in his skull, but didn't hit any vital organs, said Bridgette Robinson, who instructed Al-Bayati in English, science and English language development at the school last year. The teacher said he will require additional treatment.

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California officials are urging students who are in the country without legal permission to apply for college aid.
California officials are urging students who are in the country without legal permission to apply for college aid. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

L.A. Unified is soliciting applications for the district’s next student board member.

A USC football player was arrested Monday on suspicion of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant.

Each year, California invites students who are in the country without legal permission to apply for the same financial aid packages available to others. But officials once again are concerned that fears are keeping those they want to help from seeking the funding.

The deadline to apply for aid through the California Dream Act is March 2, just about two weeks away

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El Camino Real Charter High School students celebrate decathlon win.
El Camino Real Charter High School students celebrate decathlon win. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

A video showing a police officer body-slamming a handcuffed San Diego area high school student has led to protests and soul-searching.

L.A. Unified is giving students another chance at magnet programs with a late application process.

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