News

Thursday, January 3, 2019
As California’s new governor, Gavin Newsom will face a rare and well-timed opportunity to put his mark on the world’s largest higher education system.

Newsom, who is to be inaugurated Jan. 7, starts off with an estimated $14.8 billion state budget surplus and, as a result, high expectations among higher education leaders and experts that he will keep many of his campaign promises. Among those pledges: more money to the state’s university systems to avoid tuition hikes, two years of free community college, financial aid reform and better coordination throughout higher education.

The impact of Newsom’s governorship on higher education could be significant, touching the lives of the 2.5 million students in total enrolled across the 115 community colleges, 23 California State University campuses and the 10 University of California campuses.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

State Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, who chairs the Assembly’s Committee on Higher Education, said Wednesday in an interview that he is “happy to see the growth and it’s certainly something that Governor Brown and the Legislature have paid much attention to.” And even if the increases are not huge, “at least it’s in the right direction.” Medina noted that graduation rates vary widely among Cal State campuses and that he wants to examine campus numbers when those are released.

Monday, October 8, 2018

And despite the price tag, some state lawmakers are signaling support for transforming the Cal Grant, which is already considered one of the most generous state aid programs in the country because of the amounts of money that it offers students.

“We know that tuition is only a portion of the cost students face when attending college and I believe we should expand use of Cal Grant to also cover living expenses and transportation to help lighten the burden students face,” said Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), who chairs the higher education committee in the state Assembly.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Ethnic studies will still not be a high school graduation requirement in up to 11 California school districts because of Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision to veto AB 2772.

AB 2772 proposed a three-year pilot program formulated by Assemblymembers Jose Medina, D-Riverside, Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, and Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, which would mandate a semester- or yearlong ethnic studies course as a graduation requirement during the 2020-2023 school years.

Assemblymember Medina, a former ethnic studies teacher, said in a statement via email that he is disappointed in Brown’s decision.

“The history taught in our classrooms is not inclusive of the diversity that makes up California and that needs to change,” Medina said in his statement. “As a former Ethnic Studies teacher, I’ve seen first-hand the excitement and increased level of engagement students experience when they personally connect to the coursework. Ethnic Studies is a powerful mechanism that helps broaden the understanding of backgrounds and cultures different from our own.”

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Concerns about high school students being overwhelmed by homework, tests and graduation requirements led Gov. Jerry Brown to veto a bill allowing some school districts to require ethnic studies classes.

The legislation, AB 2772, would have set up a three-year pilot program allowing 11 school districts that would be picked throughout California to require students to a take a semester or year of ethnic studies in order to graduate. The bill was was authored by Assembly members Jose Medina, D-Riverside, a former ethnic studies teacher; Rob Bonta, D-Oakland; and Shirley Weber, D-San Diego. Assemblywomen Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego, was co-author.

Monday, October 1, 2018

A bill recently introduced by Assemblyman Jose Medina, (D-Riverside), a former ethnic studies teacher, seeks to make ethnic studies a high school graduation requirement in California. The bill, AB 2772 passed the Assembly floor on June 27 and is awaiting a vote in the State Senate. If passed, it would require all high school students to take one semester of ethnic studies in order to graduate, beginning in the 2023-2024 school year. The implementation of ethnic studies courses in California high schools would allow students to gain a better understanding of other cultures, inculcating them with the tolerance and respect needed to foster cultural diversity in our society.

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.