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[Ed Source] Federal after-school funding preserved for now
Apr 15, 2015 |

[Ed Source] Federal after-school funding preserved for now

The U.S. Senate’s education committee voted Wednesday to keep dedicated funding for after-school and summer programs, which initially was not included in its proposed reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted to amend the reauthorization bill to include funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. California received more than $127 million in federal funding in 2014-15 to provide before- and after-school and summer programs. Across the country, about 1.6 million students participate in programs funded by community center grants.
[Ed Source] Experts to discuss narrowing ‘opportunity gap’ in California
Apr 15, 2015 |

[Ed Source] Experts to discuss narrowing ‘opportunity gap’ in California

Rarely has one state attempted to make such sweeping changes to its K-12 education system as California is now doing. With the adoption of the Common Core standards, the transition to a new school funding formula and the shift from state to local control over spending, California is simultaneously changing what schools teach, how they are funded and how they’re governed.
[US News] School Lunch or Brown Bag: Which Is Right for Your Kid?
Apr 14, 2015 |

[US News] School Lunch or Brown Bag: Which Is Right for Your Kid?

It's the early-morning scramble, when parents and children rush around the house brushing teeth, grabbing toast and kissing each other goodbye for the day. In the midst of the madhouse, some manage to pack a lunch, and if they're fortunate, conscientious and have time, it might be a healthy one. But relying on the school to provide the midday meal may be easier for parents and healthier for children, even though kids don't always like the options landing on their trays.
[We'Ced Youth Media]  50 Years After Chavez, the Struggle for Farmworkers Continues in Merced County
Apr 13, 2015 |

[We'Ced Youth Media] 50 Years After Chavez, the Struggle for Farmworkers Continues in Merced County

On the eve of Cesar Chavez’s 87th birthday, the towns of Planada and LeGrand came together to celebrate the life of the Mexican-American icon. A strong theme of the event, which included a carnival, dinner, and free screening of the Chavez biopic film, was the difficulties farmworkers continue to face in Merced County and across the state. “The community in Planada embraces agricultural life,” said Alfonso Nava, principal of Cesar Chavez Middle School in Planada, who helped organize the event. “A lot of us come from farmworker families. We can relate to the struggles of our community members.”
[Sacramento Bee] County considers spending $6 million to reduce black youth deaths
Apr 14, 2015 |

[Sacramento Bee] County considers spending $6 million to reduce black youth deaths

About 250 people crowded into the chambers of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to support a plan aimed at reducing deaths among black children. Holding signs saying “Our Children Are Dying” and “Black Lives Matter,” people in the crowd cheered and cried as they listened to speakers tell the board that the county has a moral responsibility to try to reduce a death rate for black children that is double the overall rate for children in the county.
[Los Angeles Times] Nearly 1,000 in L.A. join nationwide protests for $15 minimum wage
Apr 15, 2015 |

[Los Angeles Times] Nearly 1,000 in L.A. join nationwide protests for $15 minimum wage

Nearly 1,000 fast-food workers, Wal-Mart employees and union members in Los Angeles joined nationwide protests Wednesday calling for a $15 minimum wage. The protest, which also called for unionizing fast-food workers, started in front of a McDonald's on W. 28th and Figueroa streets and ended at USC. Protesters chanted "We want 15" or "Sí se puede" (Yes we can) to the beat of drums and the music of a full band that played on a truck parked outside the McDonald's. Many protesters wore brightly colored union T-shirts, and three huge balloons with "$15" or "#fightfor15" drifted above the crowd.
[Reporting on Health] California counties provide ‘dramatically different’ care to uninsured
Apr 16, 2015 |

[Reporting on Health] California counties provide ‘dramatically different’ care to uninsured

A new report from advocacy group Health Access found “striking” differences in how counties are approaching California’s estimated 3 million uninsured residents. For the state’s uninsured, access to care depends on who they are and which county they live in, according to the report, whose authors contacted county officials throughout the state with a set of questions. The report found that eligibility for the care programs varies widely from county to county, in large part because of differing income and immigration status requirements.
[Capital Public Radio] Undocumented Immigrant Health Care Bill Moves Forward
Apr 15, 2015 |

[Capital Public Radio] Undocumented Immigrant Health Care Bill Moves Forward

The California Legislature has taken a key step toward extending health insurance to more than a million undocumented immigrants. The bill passed its first committee vote Wednesday 7-0. The bill would open Medi-Cal – California’s health care program for the poor – to undocumented immigrants. It would also offer them Affordable Care Act coverage without taxpayer subsidies – either through California’s health insurance exchange, if the Obama administration approves, or through a yet-to-be-created exchange.
[California Healthline] California First in Care for Undocumented, UCLA Researchers Say
Apr 17, 2015 |

[California Healthline] California First in Care for Undocumented, UCLA Researchers Say

No state has a proper system of health care for undocumented immigrants, researchers say, but California comes closest. Undocumented immigrants get better health care in California than the rest of the country -- but that's not saying much, according to a new report released Thursday by UCLA researchers.
[Ed Source] New agency to support schools still taking shape
Apr 13, 2015 |

[Ed Source] New agency to support schools still taking shape

California’s newest but still unformed state education agency took a small step closer to becoming operational when its five board members met for an all-day meeting in Sacramento Monday. But what the agency will actually do and how it will function have yet to be determined. The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence was created by Senate Bill 91, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in July 2013 to help school districts carry out the state’s new school financing law and achieve the goals that districts outline in their Local Control and Accountability Plans.
[Reporting on Health] The challenges of reporting on mentally ill kids in California’s juvenile justice system
Apr 14, 2015 |

[Reporting on Health] The challenges of reporting on mentally ill kids in California’s juvenile justice system

Interim chief probation officer Suzanne Collins spent her limited time summarizing her department’s mandate: supervising adult offenders once they exit custody; producing in-depth assessments for the courts to consider at sentencing; and housing juvenile delinquents. While describing this last mission, Collins made the off-hand comment about juvenile hall having turned into a “commitment facility” for mentally ill children with no other place to go. The session
[Associated Press] John Legend Launches Campaign To End Mass Incarceration
Apr 13, 2015 |

[Associated Press] John Legend Launches Campaign To End Mass Incarceration

John Legend has launched a campaign to end mass incarceration. "We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country," Legend said in an interview. "It's destroying families, it's destroying communities and we're the most incarcerated country in the world, and when you look deeper and look at the reasons we got to this place, we as a society made some choices politically and legislatively, culturally to deal with poverty, deal with mental illness in a certain way and that way usually involves using incarceration."
[Reporting on Health] Big Gulps for Little Leagues: Health advocates fight beverage industry’s diversion tactics
Apr 13, 2015 |

[Reporting on Health] Big Gulps for Little Leagues: Health advocates fight beverage industry’s diversion tactics

Public health advocates don’t typically have billion-dollar marketing budgets. So when they spot an attempt to put a scientific spin on efforts to protect the sugar-sweetened beverage industry, they start banging on doors. The California Center for Public Health Advocacy is co-sponsoring a California bill to put warning labels on sugary drinks. The center immediately sent out an email blast calling on people to write letters to the editor in response to Lisa Katic’s piece in Bay Area News Group publications arguing that the attempt to label sugar sweetened beverages as contributors to obesity and diabetes was misguided and ultimately bound for failure.
Apr 11, 2015 |

[Sacramento Bee] California Legislature seeks to curb police violence

After a year in which the use of lethal force by police officers spurred nationwide protests and bared outrage about the intersection of race and law enforcement in America, California legislators have returned to Sacramento determined to pass laws blunting police violence. “It will be probably the No. 1,” public safety issue, said Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, who chairs the Legislative Black Caucus. “We addressed gun use last year, and we took it on aggressively, and I think this year the Legislature will take on police accountability, police violence and better ways of protecting the residents of California.”
[McClatchy] California group seeks to restrict 'diet' label
Apr 10, 2015 |

[McClatchy] California group seeks to restrict 'diet' label

Citing research suggesting that diet soft drinks and other artificially sweetened products actually contribute to weight gain, a new advocacy group is asking federal regulators to investigate whether manufacturers including Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have engaged in false or misleading advertising. The California-based group, U.S. Right to Know, filed citizen petitions Thursday calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission to stop those companies from branding artificially sweetened products with the word "diet." McClatchy obtained copies of the petitions.
[Access Local TV] Dr. Richard Pan Ready to Improve His District, Focus on Health
Mar 31, 2015 |

[Access Local TV] Dr. Richard Pan Ready to Improve His District, Focus on Health

On Saturday March 28th, State Senator Dr. Richard Pan held a meet and greet in his reclaimed office space as a thanks to those who supported him throughout his campaign. A light lunch and stimulating conversation were provided for the people who came out. Pan himself took every opportunity to chat with the attendees, rarely spending a moment unaccompanied. In between asking about a supporter’s family or work, he shared his political goals for his district.
[Capital Public Radio] In Bipartisan Vote, Assembly Backs Scam Protections For Undocumented Immigrants
Apr 13, 2015 |

[Capital Public Radio] In Bipartisan Vote, Assembly Backs Scam Protections For Undocumented Immigrants

A bill intended to protect undocumented immigrants from scam artists has passed the California Assembly. More than 1.5 million undocumented immigrants in California could gain legal status under President Obama’s executive order – if courts allow it to stand. In the meantime, the California Assembly has approved a bill that would prohibit attorneys and consultants from charging immigrants in advance for help gaining that legal status.
[Wall Street Journal] Poll: Rate of Uninsured Americans Drops to 11.9%
Apr 13, 2015 |

[Wall Street Journal] Poll: Rate of Uninsured Americans Drops to 11.9%

The rate of uninsured Americans fell to 11.9% in the first quarter of 2015, down one percentage point from the end of 2014, according to a Gallup survey. The rate was the lowest since Gallup began tracking it with the Healthways company in 2008, and a sharp decrease from a high of 18% on the eve of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act in the fall of 2013. The polling firm said the rate showed the effects of the health law, but also that it had some distance to go in fulfilling its goals of broadly extending health coverage. “The significant drop in uninsured Hispanics is a key accomplishment for the Obama administration, which led targeted efforts to insure this group as they had the highest uninsured population of all key subgroups,” pollsters concluded.
[California Healthline] First Test for Bill To Cover Undocumented
Apr 13, 2015 |

[California Healthline] First Test for Bill To Cover Undocumented

Health care coverage for the undocumented gets its first test this week when a bill to extend Medi-Cal coverage and Covered California health plans to the undocumented will be heard by the Senate Health committee. Activists plan to rally on Monday on the Capitol Building steps to generate a little buzz before Wednesday's Senate hearing. A number of legislative efforts to help the undocumented comprise the "Immigrants Shape California" legislative package introduced last week by the Legislature's leadership. The centerpiece of that package is SB 4 by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens).
[Wall Street Journal] Suspension, Restorative Justice and Productive Schools
Apr 08, 2015 |

[Wall Street Journal] Suspension, Restorative Justice and Productive Schools

Schools using restorative justice as an alternative to school suspension and other “zero tolerance” practices have been getting better results with their students. Oakland, Calif., schools implementing restorative justice have had a 24% reduction in chronic absenteeism, a 128% increase in ninth-grade reading levels, a 56% decline in the high-school dropout rate, and a 60% increase in the four-year high school graduation rate. So more students are in school, learning and graduating on time.
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