Friday, June 19, 2020

California Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside), spoke about the importance of Juneteenth in the nation’s history. “As a teacher, and as an ethnic studies teacher, this also gives me an opportunity to say what is needed in the curriculum,” he began.

 “It is something that I and many in Sacramento have been fighting for, and that is to make the curriculum more reflective of the students. By that I’m saying, so much is omitted [from school curriculum]. Perhaps,” he added, “even the history of Juneteenth is omitted in the history that is taught in our high schools.”

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The current state budget crisis may just do to Calbright College what past criticism from unions and legislators could not achieve so far: kill off the state’s new fully online community college.

Calbright College, established last year to deliver online education for under-employed adults, is now the focus of strengthened efforts to abolish it and redirect $137 million of its funding to other higher education needs, according to testimony Tuesday at a state Assembly subcommittee hearing. Key legislators and the state Legislative Analyst’s Office, which evaluates legislation and programs, portrayed the controversial school as duplicative of widespread online courses started in the pandemic and too expensive while other community colleges and state universities face troubling budget cuts.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

State lawmakers voted unanimously Wednesday to audit Calbright College, California’s online-only community college, just five months into its existence.

The 14-0 vote by the Joint Committee on Legislative Audit signals that critics from the college’s faculty union have succeeded in raising doubts among lawmakers about whether the state needs a separate, online-only community college. The committee has the authority to approve state audits.

The audit will get underway after July 1 and could take about seven months to complete. Lawmakers want the audit to examine whether Calbright is serving the students it was created for, whether the college’s classes too closely resemble courses offered at other community colleges and whether it has complied with state law. It also will look into the college’s finances, salaries and expenses to see if it has appropriately used state money.

The audit is estimated to cost the state $375,180.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Local governments across California will have to disclose a number of details about warehouse projects when they give developers tax breaks of $100,000 or more, under a new law that will take effect Jan. 1.

The mandate is the focus of legislation by Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, who has said residents deserve to know precisely what benefits their communities will receive from such projects and how many tax dollars their cities or counties will forfeit.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Medina’s Assembly Bill 485 last weekend.

“This is a huge win for California and the Inland Empire,” Medina said in a statement. “If cities are going to spend millions in taxpayer dollars to bring warehouses to our communities, the public should, at the very least, have adequate and up-to-date information about the deals that are struck.”

Monday, August 26, 2019

Building a facility in the Inland Empire to house unaccompanied minors who crossed the U.S.-Mexican border is “a violation of human rights,” state lawmakers representing the region said Monday, AUg. 26, in a joint statement.

“As representatives of the Inland Empire, we condemn the use of space in any location, but especially in our community, to detain unaccompanied children,” the statement reads.

“Together, we have sent a letter urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency to end its search for a location in the Inland Empire that would assist the Trump Administration in its efforts to expand detention centers, allow families to be separated and detained, or weaken the safeguards that currently exist to protect children in government custody.”

Friday, August 23, 2019

The author of legislation that would require students to take an ethnic studies course as a requirement for high school graduation has put off a vote on the bill this year amid widespread criticism of a proposed curriculum that would serve as a guide for school districts statewide.

“It is not a question of whether the subject itself is necessary but rather, how do we ensure the curriculum is comprehensive, rigorous and inclusive enough,” Assemblyman José Medina, D-Riverside, said in a statement on Thursday. “This underscores the importance of taking the time necessary to ensure we get the curriculum right.”

Thursday, August 22, 2019

A proposed law that would require all California high school students take an ethnic studies course is on hold for this year after the draft curriculum prompted weeks of escalating controversy from diverse groups whose members said they were misrepresented or excluded.

The Thursday decision by the bill’s author quells weeks of critiques from leaders of pro-Israel organizations, who challenged the lack of teaching about anti-Semitism , and organizations representing Armenians, Greeks, Hindus and Koreans, whose members want lessons about their people to be taught. Meanwhile, a broad coalition of student groups and educators, mainly people of color, rallied in support of the current draft. In the midst of the critiques, state educators announced that the first draft of curriculum fell short and would be substantially revised.