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Florida’s Senate on Monday narrowly passed a sweeping yet contentious bill to increase school safety and restrict gun purchases, nearly three weeks after the shooting that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Senate Bill 7026, named the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, would raise the age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21, require a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases, and ban the sale or possession of “bump stocks,” which allow semiautomatic rifles to fire faster.

But the bill, which passed by 20 to 18 votes and now goes to the Florida House, does not ban assault and assault-style weapons — a measure vigorously pushed by many Parkland students and parents.

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  • Higher Education
  • California State University
  • University of California
  • Community Colleges
UC President Janet Napolitano, center, actively recruits students of color, but a study found an urgent need to diversify campus leaders.
UC President Janet Napolitano, center, actively recruits students of color, but a study found an urgent need to diversify campus leaders. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

California’s public colleges and universities face a “drastic disparity” in diversity between their undergraduates, who are overwhelmingly students of color, and their predominantly white faculty and campus leaders, a new study has found.

That mismatch can negatively affect student academic success and must be addressed, says the report by the Campaign for College Opportunity, a Los Angeles nonprofit.

“Our public colleges and universities have to do more than communicate that they ‘value’ diversity while tolerating its absence,” Michele Siqueiros, the nonprofit’s president, said in a statement. “We can no longer accept excuses that leave out African Americans, Latinx, Asians and women from faculty and leadership positions in our colleges and universities, especially when we know including them on our campuses is key to our students’ success.”

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  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • University of California
  • LAUSD
  • Community Colleges
A rally at the Oklahoma Capitol in Oklahoma City.
A rally at the Oklahoma Capitol in Oklahoma City. (Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press)

In and around Los Angeles:

Coast Community College District officials said they were reviewing a viral video in which a professor told a Long Beach couple to “go back to your home country.”

L.A. Unified encourages educators to participate in a charity campaign and use it to help make students “civic minded.”

Coast Community College District officials said Monday they are reviewing how to proceed after a professor at Golden West College in Huntington Beach was identified in a video telling a Long Beach couple to "go back to your home country."

On Feb. 28, high school track coach and government teacher Bon Bennett stepped up to the microphone at the community center in Bartlesville, Okla., as hundreds of parents, students and teachers sat rapt in attention.

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After a month of advocacy and efforts to reassure vulnerable students that filling out applications for financial aid would not put them at risk, the state has reached its goal for applications for aid under the California Dream Act, officials said Monday.

The act allows many students who are in the country illegally  — and those afforded temporary protection under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals —   to apply for financial aid packages available to others.

When officials saw applications were down last month — for the second year in a row — they enlisted college counselors, teachers and even DJ Khaled to convince more students to apply. They were concerned that immigrant families’ increasing distrust of the government was driving numbers down.

  • K-12
  • HS Insider
Could your school be next?
Could your school be next? (Jaylee Cortes)

Jaylee Cortes, a junior at Charter Oak High School, wrote an open letter to the president.

Mr. President, where were you on Valentine’s Day? Were you out to dinner with a loved one or were you sitting in the Oval Office, alone?

I was scrolling through Snapchat when I saw a story about the Florida shooting. My parents came home and immediately were engrossed by the television. My mother watched with tears streaming down her face, my father watched in horror, and I sat there, a million thoughts racing through my mind.

  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • University of California
  • LAUSD
 The Grotowski Barn is named for the famous Polish drama theorist and director Jerzy Grotowski.
The Grotowski Barn is named for the famous Polish drama theorist and director Jerzy Grotowski. (Scott Smeltzer / Daily Pilot)

In and around Los Angeles:

In the wake of the Parkland shooting, L.A.’s political leaders are focusing on making schools safer. The city attorney is forming a blue-ribbon panel and three school board members are pushing a resolution calling for stronger state and federal gun control.

A potential threat led to canceled classes Monday at Cypress College in Orange County.

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When renowned theater director Jerzy Grotowski was considering a job as a UC Irvine professor in the 1980s, the founding chair of the school’s drama department promised him perks.

Classes were canceled Monday morning at Cypress College in Orange County after the school became aware of a potential threat, though police say they do not believe there is any risk.