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1249 posts
  • Higher Education
  • University of California
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The season of commencement speakers is beginning — and so starts the season of protests over them.

UC San Diego has landed the Dalai Lama to deliver the keynote address at its June 17 commencement. But while the Tibetan Buddhist monk, the 14th Dalai Lama, is revered as an icon of peace to many, some Chinese students are protesting his longstanding efforts to protect Tibetan national identity from China, which claims the territory.

The Chinese Students and Scholars Assn. at UC San Diego criticized his selection, saying the Dalai Lama has long tried to "divide the motherland and to destroy national unity," Inside Higher Ed reported.

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A Salvadoran soldier checks a man for gang-related tattoos.
A Salvadoran soldier checks a man for gang-related tattoos. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

The death threats started last spring. Sixteen-year-old Mauricio Gomez answered a phone call from an unknown number and heard a nasal voice on the line.

Give me $400 by the end of the week, the gangster warned, or I’ll kill you and your family.  

“Do you understand me?” the voice continued. “We can cut you into pieces.” 

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  • Higher Education
  • University of California
Feng Zhang of the the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
Feng Zhang of the the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. (Bryce Vickmark / MIT)

The scientists who first harnessed the powerful gene-editing technology known as CRISPR suffered a major defeat Wednesday in their long-running quest to control the rights to their invention.

UC Berkeley biochemist Jennifer Doudna and her European collaborator, Emmanuelle Charpentier, have racked up a slew of awards for their work, which makes it very easy to alter the DNA of living things. But their efforts to patent their discovery have been hung up by a competing claim from Feng Zhang at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

In California: 

Nationwide:

  • K-12
  • LAUSD
Kitchen worker Andrea Jimenez keeps the food stocked at Bravo Medical Magnet High School in Los Angeles.
Kitchen worker Andrea Jimenez keeps the food stocked at Bravo Medical Magnet High School in Los Angeles. (Christina House / For The Times)

If breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day, then great things should be in store for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The district on Tuesday announced its recognition for serving breakfast to more low-income students than any other large school system in the nation, according to an annual report from the Food Research and Action Center. 

The report was based on surveys of 73 large school systems around the country. 

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  • Higher Education
  • Community Colleges
A silent protest at Orange Coast College in December.
A silent protest at Orange Coast College in December. (Scott Smeltzer / Daily Pilot)

The Orange Coast College student who secretly video-recorded a professor’s classroom comments calling President Trump’s election victory “an act of terrorism” is being suspended for violating campus policy.

In a Feb. 9 letter, interim dean of students Victoria Lugo informed Caleb O’Neil of the suspension for one “primary (fall/spring) semester in addition to the summer” and other disciplinary actions — including that he submit a written apology to professor Olga Perez Stable Cox, along with a three-page essay explaining why he recorded the class, how he felt about his images going viral and his reaction to the recording causing “damage to Orange Coast College students, faculty and staff.”

The letter did not specify when the suspension would begin, and said O’Neil had the right to appeal. “If you choose to appeal, your sanctions will be deferred until the outcome …  is determined,” it said.

  • K-12
  • LAUSD
L.A. students walk from their high schools on Nov. 14 to protest Donald Trump's election
L.A. students walk from their high schools on Nov. 14 to protest Donald Trump's election (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

L.A. Unified is urging students not to join in any walkouts or demonstrations planned for Thursday as part of a national “Day without Immigrants” being marked across the country.

The nation’s second-largest school district contacted parents and employees via voicemail on Wednesday evening with a recording by Alma Pena-Sanchez, LAUSD’s chief of staff.

“While we respect everyone’s right to have their voices heard and to participate in civic action such as protest, all students and staff are encouraged and expected to come to school,” Pena-Sanchez said.

  • For Parents
May Martinez is losing access to subsidies provided by the state to cover child care because her husband got a raise.
May Martinez is losing access to subsidies provided by the state to cover child care because her husband got a raise. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Finding and paying for adequate child care in California is so difficult that it's causing some parents to leave or lose their jobs, according to a new survey by EdSource.

And it's unclear whether parents will get more help soon. In his budget proposal, Gov. Jerry Brown zeroed out a plan for expanding early childhood education by $226 million. On the campaign trail, Donald Trump promised to help families shoulder the mounting costs, but he hasn't yet revisited the idea in his first weeks as president.

Here are three takeaways from the survey, conducted by phone and online, that illustrate how challenges in accessing child care shape families in California.

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  • K-12
(Tim Berger / Burbank Leader)

Teens may catch a few more Zs during the school week under a bill that state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada-Flintridge) introduced Monday.

Senate Bill 328 would require middle and high schools across California to start the school day no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

In his bill introduction, Portantino cited the American Academy of Pediatrics' policy statement released in 2014 advising school districts to start the day no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • K-12
  • LAUSD
(Mario Tama / Getty Images)

Betsy DeVos' confirmation has stoked fears about undermining public schools, in large part because of the secretary of Education's full-throated support for school vouchers.

But if the last few days have been any indication, DeVos is trying to put a friendlier face on the idea of school choice. So far, she hasn't mentioned vouchers as a priority at all — and today she spoke to a trade association for magnet schools.

"Magnet schools are often referred to as the original school choice option," DeVos said. "What makes your schools transformative places of learning is not a federal grant ... it's you, the human connection.