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Tuesday, August 13, 2019


Rancho Santiago Community College District welcomes new chancellor
Rancho Santiago Community College District’s named Marvin Martinez as its new chancellor. Following an extensive national search, Board of Trustees selected Martinez to head the 52,000 student district that includes Santa Ana College and Rancho Santiago Canyon College. Martinez is succeeding Dr. Raul Rodriguez, who announced his retirement in late 2018 after serving over three decades in community colleges, including nine years at RSCCD.


Santa Ana’s troubled Spurgeon school renamed, to the chagrin of local historians
Several large banners flanked a Santa Ana campus on the first day of school Monday, but missing from them all was a familiar name: Spurgeon Intermediate, in honor of the city’s founder. The Santa Ana Unified School District has combined two schools into one, creating a dual immersion pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school that, on Monday afternoon, it dedicated with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Santa Ana historians take umbrage that the Santa Ana Unified School District isn’t using the campus’ former name.


Ethnic studies may soon be mandatory in California schools. Can we get it right?
In actions that would affect more than 6.5 million California students, state lawmakers are poised to make ethnic studies a graduation requirement in high school and at Cal State universities, raising the stakes for a team of educators drafting the model curriculum, those who are arguing for changes to it, and also for critics — who see an academic field dominated by one-sided, insular political correctness and separatism.


School Board Trustee Resigns; CUSD to Discuss Replacement Proceedings
The Capistrano Unified School District announced Friday, Aug. 9, that Trustee Gary Pritchard resigned from his position on the school board, prompting trustees to hold a discussion on his replacement during their upcoming special meeting this week. Pritchard, who was serving as board vice president this year and representing Area 5, which encompasses portions of Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel, stepped down from his post this past Friday because he relocated out of that region, according to CUSD.


What about the Nazis? Lawmakers question ‘anti-Jewish’ curriculum for California schools
California Jewish lawmakers are calling for revisions to a proposed state ethnic studies curriculum that they said promotes antisemitic stereotypes and unfairly criticizes Israel, according to a letter they sent to the Department of Education last month.


Revised bill proposes later school start times for California middle, high school students
After former Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill last year that proposed starting middle and high school times later to give teens more time to sleep, the bill’s author started working to bring it back again this year. Although the bill originally banned both middle and high schools from starting before 8:30 a.m., Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-San Fernando Valley, agreed to amendments in May that would allow middle schools to start at 8 a.m. while keeping high school start times at 8:30 a.m., to give districts more flexibility in scheduling buses.

Federal government to restrict green cards for immigrants who could use food stamps or other aid in future
Low-income immigrants will not be able to get green cards if government officials believe they might use food stamps, public health insurance or public housing in the future, after a new rule goes into effect in October. The Trump administration had originally proposed this change last fall, spurring opposition from numerous nonprofit organizations and individuals, who submitted comments opposing the policy change.

Tracking California’s higher education bills
EdSource is tracking 21 higher education bills that were introduced this year in the Legislature. The bills would address a range of issues, including financial aid, student debt, homelessness and access to college for undocumented students, among others. Use this tracker, which will be updated, to stay informed on each of those pieces of legislation. Bills that have stalled are shaded gray.

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