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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.

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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.

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 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.

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.

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Political leaders in Los Angeles want the city to join the nation in focusing hard on how to prevent violence on campuses in the wake of one of America’s deadliest school shootings.

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  • University of California
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John Ortiz addresses assembled students during the walkouts in 1968.
John Ortiz addresses assembled students during the walkouts in 1968. (H.O. McCarthy / Herald-Examiner Collection)

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. L.A. Unified is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1968 walkouts, but the district has told students they should stay on campus during a planned March 14 walkout to honor the victims of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting.
  2. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin blocked the release of a video of students heckling him during his speech at UCLA. That only drew attention to the incident.

In California:

  1. Some state legislators want to add over $1 billion more for schools to what is proposed in Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget.
  2. A San Diego County teen was arrested on suspicion of posting a photo of a rifle made out of Legos with a threatening message on social media.

Nationwide:

  1. A look at the recent actions of Alberto Carvalho, the Miami school superintendent who, in the course of a couple of days, accepted and then publicly declined New York City’s top education post.
  2. Hundreds of school districts across the country already arm teachers. They’re mostly small and rural.

Fifty years ago, Mexican American students in East L.A. high schools walked out of class and launched a historic movement protesting substandard conditions in their schools.

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin has blocked the release of a video that shows him being heckled at UCLA, causing the initially little-noticed incident to go viral.

Mnuchin was being interviewed by Kai Ryssdal, host of the public radio show “Marketplace,” which focuses on news about business and the economy. About 400 people attended the free event Monday at the UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Korn Convocation Hall, said Peggy McInerny, a university spokeswoman.

The University of California has slipped in the rankings of an annual global survey of higher education, escalating concerns that funding woes and growing international competition are beginning to erode the quality of the nation’s top public research university.