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A group of athletes runs past Mary Park Hall at San Francisco State University
A group of athletes runs past Mary Park Hall at San Francisco State University (Robert Durell/Los Angeles Times)

Students and Jewish community members filed a lawsuit Monday against San Francisco State University and Cal State’s Board of Trustees, alleging that the San Francisco campus of the largest public university system in the country has long cultivated a hostile environment in which Jewish students are “often afraid to wear Stars of David or yarmulkes on campus, and regularly text their friends to describe potential safety issues.”

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California by attorneys from The Lawfare Project and the firm Winston & Strawn LLP, was prompted by a confrontation in April 2016, when the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, was invited by SF Hillel to speak on campus.

According to the lawsuit, protesters used bullhorns to drown out the mayor’s speech and yelled and chanted “Intifada,” “Get the [expletive] off our campus,” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” while university administrators allowed the disruption to continue and instructed campus police to “stand down.”

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  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • University of California
(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. Lynwood Unified took away prerequisites and encouraged most of its students to take AP classes.
  2. The state scheduled a session for Angelenos to provide feedback on the implementation of a federal schools law. Eight people showed up.

In California:

  1. Uncertainty over President Trump's immigration policies has boosted demand for UC's immigration student legal services.
  2. The state budget approved last week lets more families qualify for subsidized childcare.

Nationwide:

  1. The Trump administration's new guidelines on transgender student protections change course on bathroom access cases.
  2. A look at private emails Seattle parents sent to school staffers after teachers came to school wearing Black Lives Matter shirts.
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  • Higher Education
  • University of California
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

As uncertainty over President Trump’s immigration policies persists, attorneys at the UC Immigrant Legal Services Center have become academia’s go-to experts. Should students apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, and give their personal information to the Trump administration? Should they travel abroad and risk being denied reentry?

Can students rest easy with the recent news that U.S. immigration officials actually approved more DACA applications in the first three months of this year than in the same period last year?

The center’s attorneys wrestle with such questions daily — along with a soaring workload. Maria Blanco, an attorney who heads the University of California Immigrant Legal Services Center, estimates that cases totaled more than 800 for the 2016-17 academic year, compared with 362 last year. Most of them involve DACA applications, travel permissions, help for students’ families and general consultations.

(Lynwood Unified School District)

By the time Elizabeth Valenzuela entered her senior year at Lynwood High School, she had taken seven Advanced Placement tests and earned potential college credit on five of them. It was an impressive accomplishment, made more impressive still by the fact that in her small school district she wasn’t one of a kind.

Increasing numbers of students from low-income Latino and black families are taking advanced courses and passing AP exams in Lynwood Unified School District, south of downtown Los Angeles.

To make this happen, the district of 15,000 students provided incentives and assistance and eliminated prerequisite courses and grade requirements that used to limit who enrolled.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • K-12
Transgender student Gavin Grimm, whose case the Supreme Court recently vacated.
Transgender student Gavin Grimm, whose case the Supreme Court recently vacated. (Associated Press)

Shortly after President Donald Trump's inauguration, the administration made waves by revoking President Barack Obama's guidance for transgender students.

The Obama guidelines required schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms according to their stated gender identity, or provide them with private facilities.

At the time, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said that such students do receive civil rights protections, and that her office would be releasing an update on how they could be implemented.

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  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • LAUSD
The state's new budget includes language that is friendly to unions.
The state's new budget includes language that is friendly to unions. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. L.A. Unified is highlighting the stories of several graduates, including a 15-year-old entering UCLA as a sophomore.
  2. A look at what it would cost  if the L.A. school board chose to terminate  Supt. Michelle King, now that her contract is longer.

In California:

  1. Researchers are trying to make sure the new focus on social and emotional learning doesn't go the way of many other educational trends.
  2. The state's 2017-18 budget includes language strengthening  the rights of unions to meet and recruit workers in school districts and other places.

Nationwide:

  1. The Education Department's civil rights office under Betsy DeVos reportedly is telling staffers to stop investigating cases in which transgender students say they can't use the bathrooms of their choice.
  2. How DeVos' rewrite of Obama's for-profit college rules could affect students.
  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

As Corinthian Colleges Inc., ITT Technical Institute and other for-profit schools collapsed in recent years, the Obama administration overhauled regulations to make it easier to forgive loans for stranded students and to try to prevent future abuses.

Now, the Trump administration is suspending those rules, which had been set to go into effect July 1. The Department of Education, under Secretary Betsy DeVos, also is launching an effort to rewrite the rules.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • K-12
(Erik Lesser / European Pressphoto Agency)

The U.S. Department of Education is telling civil rights investigators that they can limit the scope of their work, according to an internal memo uncovered by ProPublica. 

The department also is circulating an internal memo that applies similar standards to cases involving transgender students — and encourages case officers to assess each on its own. 

The memo regarding transgender students lists specific instances where officers could have "subject matter jurisdiction," such as failure to use a student's preferred pronoun or a school or district's failure to fix an environment that is hostile toward transgender students. Investigations into  transgender students  being denied the right to use the bathrooms of their choice is not on that list — and the memo states that based on jurisdiction, some complaints might go forward while others, involving bathrooms, might be dismissed.

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Dr. Dre, center, with hands in pockets, views a model of the planned performing arts complex.
Dr. Dre, center, with hands in pockets, views a model of the planned performing arts complex. (Compton Unified School District)

Dr. Dre has pledged to donate $10 million to help build a performing arts complex at the new Compton High School, the Compton Unified School District told The Times on Thursday. 

“My goal is to provide kids with the kind of tools and learning they deserve,” Dre said in a statement to The Times. “The performing arts center will be a place for young people to be creative in a way that will help further their education and positively define their future.”

The complex will provide students with state-of-the-art equipment and technology, including digital media production facilities and a 1,200-seat theater.

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

Quick programming note: You can expect us to slow down a bit during the summer months. But we'll be back at full speed by the time school is in session. 

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. A look at the politics behind Michelle King's contract extension.
  2. What exactly are affiliated charter schools?

Statewide:

  1. A new study says minority male students face too many hurdles on the road to completing high school and entering college.
  2. Meet California State University student trustee Maggie White, a student leader who's learned a lot about the CSU system.