Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The California Legislature is trying to make one semester of ethnic studies a statewide high school graduation requirement and a bill funding pilot programs is headed to the governor’s desk this week. Those who oppose the idea obviously have never taken a Chicano studies course. I urge them to do so. They’ll find a roomful of young Latinos learning that they, too, are a part of this state and country and should contribute to it. What a radical concept.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

On Monday, Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside) announced that Gov. Jerry Brown had signed Medina’s public education governance bill, AB1887, into law on Friday, Aug. 24. Under the new bill, all students eligible for in-state tuition are allowed to serve on college boards and committees regardless of age or citizenship status. Specifically, the law applies to undocumented students who are eligible for in-state tuition under California Education Code 68130.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

SB1437 by Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, would limit murder convictions to those who actually commit the crime, changing current law that holds accomplices to the same standard as those who actually committed the crime under what is called the felony murder rule.

The bill now heads back to the Senate, where it passed previously. If approved there again, the bill would head to Gov. Jerry Brown.

SB1437 would allow those who have been convicted as an accomplice to murder to petition a court to be re-sentenced. The bill exempts any case in which a police officer was killed.

“In California, a person can be convicted of murder and face life in prison without killing anyone or even witnessing the murder,” said Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside.

Friday, August 17, 2018

A bill that would make ethnic studies a graduation requirement in California is among a series of education-related bills from Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, that are moving to the Senate floor.

The bill would require high schools students in California to take a semester of ethnic studies in order to graduate, beginning in the 2023-24 school year. Medina said the course would “help ensure that all students learn about the diverse histories of the people that make up America.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

This week the Legislature—which had been considering a bill to make California the first state to require ethnic studies for high school graduation—backed away from creating such a statewide mandate, citing costs estimated to top $400 million. Sponsors settled on a pilot program instead.

The pilot would cover 10 to 15 school districts across the state that will opt in to have ethnic studies as a graduation requirement. Schools would begin applying next year and the program would create the requirement for some students as early as 2022, with schools reporting their findings in 2024.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a $139 billion general fund budget that includes $9.7 million to support the development of the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry of the Riverside Art Museum, also known as “The Cheech.”

The Cheech will reside in the city of Riverside and be a permanent home for Cheech Marin’s more than 700 works of Chicano art, including paintings, sculptures, and photography, making up what organizers say is the most prominent collection of its kind in the U.S.

The funding from the state legislature — championed by Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside) — pushes the fundraising effort known as “Reach for the Cheech” close to $13 million, which will be used to transform Riverside’s existing Main Library into an arts facility.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, who chairs the Assembly Higher Education Committee, was pleased with the funding levels for the UC and Cal State systems.

“The budget originally proposed by the governor significantly underfunded these institutions, which would have been detrimental to our universities and our students,” he said. “The final budget agreement not only fully funds these institutions, but also allocates an additional $5 million to the UC, and an additional $120 million to the CSU for enrollment growth.

“At a time when more and more of California’s students graduate from high school college-ready, it is critical to invest in these institutions to ensure all students have access to quality higher education.”