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1297 posts
  • Higher Education
  • University of California
UCLA campus
UCLA campus (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The administration of the University of California system pays top workers salaries significantly higher than the pay of similar state employees, has provided millions of dollars in benefits not typical to the public sector and failed to disclose to the Board of Regents and the public that it had $175 million in budget reserve funds, a state audit found Tuesday.

The audit triggered a dispute with UC President Janet Napolitano, who said charges of hidden funds were false.

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A leaflet is stapled to a message board near Sproul Hall on the UC Berkeley campus.
A leaflet is stapled to a message board near Sproul Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. (Ben Margot / Associated Press)

Will Ann Coulter speak at UC Berkeley this week?

It’s a question that has consumed the university for weeks and on Monday actually sparked a federal lawsuit from College Republicans who had invited the conservative author to speak.

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  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • University of California
  • LAUSD
(Alex Wong / Getty Images)

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. L.A. School Board president Steve Zimmer joined a march to commemorate the Armenian genocide.
  2. A reassigned Sherman Oaks principal says race was a factor in parents' complaints about her.

In California:

  1. The Berkeley College Republicans are suing their school over the cancellation and rescheduling of Ann Coulter's campus visit.
  2. About half of California's school districts lowered suspension rates enough to earn high marks on the new school measurement system.

Nationwide:

  1. Betsy DeVos told Fox that "there really isn't any Common Core anymore." That's not true. Numerous states, including California, teach to the Common Core standards.
  2. Homelessness among New York City students continues to increase.
A leaflet detailing the controversy over a speech by Ann Coulter is stapled to a message board near Sproul Hall on the UC Berkeley campus.
A leaflet detailing the controversy over a speech by Ann Coulter is stapled to a message board near Sproul Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. (Associated Press)

UC Berkeley student group on Monday filed a lawsuit demanding that the university allow conservative pundit Ann Coulter to speak on campus Thursday as originally planned.

Citing unspecified threats, administrators had rescheduled Coulter’s appearance for May 2, when they said they could provide adequate security.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • K-12
  • LAUSD
  • Charter Schools
(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. Granada Hills Charter High School won the national Academic Decathlon for the sixth time in seven years.
  2. New charter school construction in Pacoima provided a moment of truce in the war between district and charter schools, but the fight continues.

In California:

  1. One in eight California students has at least one undocumented parent.
  2. For some Mexican students, crossing the border on the way to school is routine.

Nationwide: 

  1. Teachers can get passed along to the East Coast private school circuit, despite facing claims of sexual misconduct.
  2. Advocacy groups are asking U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to better enforce civil rights laws.
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(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

In the era of Donald Trump and his talk of building an impenetrable — and “beautiful” — wall to beat back illegal immigration, the border has become a hardening line in America’s cultural wars.

But to many of the people in Calexico, the fence that separates the two countries is neither fully a bulwark against invasion nor a foreboding stop sign to immigrants’ hopes. It is a mundane part of the environment that must be crossed every day to live, work and study.

Construction workers use a crane to lift prefabricated classroom sections made of recycled shipping containers into position at Vaughn Next Century Learning Center.
Construction workers use a crane to lift prefabricated classroom sections made of recycled shipping containers into position at Vaughn Next Century Learning Center. (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

New classrooms under construction at a charter school in Pacoima mark a moment of truce — even mutual respect — in a hot and cold war between charters and the Los Angeles Unified School District.

But the battle continues over how much money the district will spend on charter-school construction projects in the future. Just last week, L.A. Unified won a court case focused on that issue — and it could have enormous consequences.

(Dylan Stewart / HS Insider)

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla held a rally at John W. North High School as part of a wider effort to encourage youth to pre-register or register to vote.

“Who is it that’s eligible but not registered? Who is it that’s registered but doesn’t vote every single time? It’s disproportionately working-class families, communities of color, and young people,” Padilla stated during his speech as he reached out to the North student body, which is nearly 75 percent socioeconomically disadvantaged.

The state has recently implemented a policy which allows teenagers that are 16 or 17 the ability to pre-register to vote. Once they turn 18, they will automatically be registered to vote.

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  • Higher Education
  • University of California
Protesters demonstrate during an appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos in Berkeley on Feb. 1.
Protesters demonstrate during an appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos in Berkeley on Feb. 1. (Noah Berger / European Pressphoto Agency)

A conservative group on Friday threatened to take legal action against UC Berkeley if student sponsors are not allowed to pick the date and location for an appearance by commentator Ann Coulter.

Coulter had been scheduled to speak on the demonstration-weary campus on April 27, but Berkeley officials refused permission, citing safety concerns. Amid public criticism, the administration on Thursday agreed to set the event for May 2, at midday, in a science hall away from the central campus.

  • K-12
  • LAUSD
  • For Parents
The Exide Technologies plant in Vernon
The Exide Technologies plant in Vernon (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

As part of a nationwide investigation, the Reuters news service asked the Los Angles County Department of Health for records of blood tests and found that many children across the county have high levels of lead in their systems. You can read the investigation here.

A few numbers stand out:

  1. More than 15,000 children younger than 6 had high lead levels in their blood between 2011 and 2015.

  2. In 323 neighborhoods, the rate was as high or higher than that in Flint, Mich., whose toxic water has received intense news coverage.

  3. San Marino is one of those places. There, 17% of younger kids tested had "elevated levels of lead in their blood." That's almost triple Flint's rate of 5%.

Why does it matter?  "Even a slight elevation [of lead] can reduce IQ and stunt childhood development," the Reuters report said. "There’s no safe level of lead in children’s bodies."