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Wednesday
Mar222017

POLITICS/EDUCATION: University of California, enrolllment/ $$$, out-of-state students? California residents?: Editorial, "How many high-paying out-of-state students is enough for UC?" ....  

* Los Angeles Times (editorial):  "How many high-paying out-of-state students is enough for UC?" - From the LAT:

Here’s one big reason for admitting out-of-state students to the undergraduate ranks of the University of California: money. Those students pay close to $30,000 more for their education each year than the locals do. Among other things, that helps pay for students from California who can’t afford the in-state tuition of less than $15,000. At the same time, Californians are clamoring for more access.

UC President Janet Napolitano has long claimed that the tripling of out-of-state enrollment over the past decade or so hasn’t harmed California students because the university didn’t reduce their numbers; it simply added more from out of state. A 2016 state audit disagreed. It’s a complicated picture.

Obviously, if UC accepted more students from out of state, those seats didn’t go to Californians. But if it hadn’t drawn those extra dollars, the results wouldn’t have been good for in-state students either — the state would have been forced to raise in-state tuition or cut financial aid for lower-income Californians. Under pressure from Sacramento to do more for Californians — and with additional funding to make it happen — the university system has significantly increased its admission of state residents. Now Napolitano is responding to Sacramento’s other concern by proposing a 20% systemwide cap on out-of-state enrollment.

Last week the Board of Regents put off making a decision, citing various concerns about the cap. But although Napolitano’s plan needs some tweaking, the 20% limit she proposes strikes the right balance. The regents need to make some kind of decision on this; the issue won’t go away. And it’s about more than money .................

Wednesday
Mar222017

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Bay Area): San Francisco City Hall, bribery case, access to Mayor Ed Lee?: "S.F. court hears recorded phone calls in City Hall corruption case" ....

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "S.F. court hears recorded phone calls in City Hall corruption case" - From the Chronicle:

A series of recorded calls from wiretapped phones was played in Superior Court on Tuesday in the case against three former San Francisco officials accused of soliciting bribes for political favor and access to Mayor Ed Lee.

“You pay to play here. We know that. We’re the best at the game,” former Human Rights Commission staffer Zula Jones said to an undercover FBI agent in one call, played on the second day of the preliminary hearing for Jones, former Human Rights Commissioner Nazly Mohajer, and political consultant and former San Francisco school board President Keith Jackson.

The phone calls were picked up during an FBI investigation in the Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow racketeering case. Last year, Chow was convicted of conspiring to operate his Chinatown organization as a racketeering enterprise, ordering the murder of the organization’s previous leader and conspiring to try to murder another rival.

The recorded calls paint a colorful and questionable portrait of the tit-for-tat underbelly of political dealings in City Hall .................

Wednesday
Mar222017

POLITICS/EDUCATION: Los Angeles Unified School District, Celerity Educational Group, spending practices?: "L.A. charter school network defends its founder's 2013 income of $471,842" ...

***Following up on most recent earlier item noted here (Celerity Educational Group, questionable spending, conflicts of interest?)....

* Los Angeles Times:  "L.A. charter school network defends its founder's 2013 income of $471,842" - From the LAT:

A Los Angeles-based charter school network on Monday defended its spending practices — speaking out for the first time since The Times published a story documenting a history of potential conflicts of interest and questionable use of public money.

Leading up to the publication of the story, Celerity Educational Group’s founder and former CEO Vielka McFarlane declined to speak to reporters. When The Times sent Celerity and its lawyer a list of questions about its finances, the network said it was having difficulty providing answers because many of its computers and records had been seized when federal agents raided its offices in late January.

The nonprofit organization, which currently runs seven schools in Los Angeles County and four in Louisiana, remains the subject of a federal inquiry. It is also under investigation by the inspector general of the Los Angeles Unified School District. No one at Celerity, including McFarlane, has been charged with a crime stemming from the schools’ operations.

On Monday evening, the network sent parents a newsletter with a detailed response that criticized the press coverage as full of “numerous errors and insinuations.” The newsletter justified McFarlane’s 2013 income of $471,842 — about 35% more than the salary of the superintendent of L.A. Unified — as comparable with “peer organizations in the education world.” It said that ...................

Tuesday
Mar212017

LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Oakland, "Oakland turns over Ghost Ship investigation report to D.A. after weeks of delays"; San Diego, "Bill could lead to more tax money for local transit systems"; Bay Area, "Uber slows move into Oakland headquarters"; O.C., "3 candidates declare for 1 Orange County supervisor seat opening in 2018" ....

***Various items relating to local issues/local government -- Northern California, Southern California....

* East Bay Times:  "Oakland turns over Ghost Ship investigation report to D.A. after weeks of delays"

* Orange County Register:  "3 candidates declare for 1 Orange County supervisor seat opening in 2018"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Uber slows move into Oakland headquarters"

* San Diego Union-Tribune:  "Bill could lead to more tax money for local transit systems"

Tuesday
Mar212017

POLITICS (National): President Donald Trump, daughter Ivanka Trump, West Wing office but not a government employee: "Ivanka Trump to get West Wing office as role expands"; "Ivanka Trump to et top security clearance and office, WH official says"; also, "Carter-era ethics rulings loom over Trump kids" .... 

***President Donald Trump, daughter Ivanka Trump, White House/West Wing office but NOT a government employee...

* POLITICO:  "Ivanka Trump to get West Wing office as role expands" - "The first daughter will not, however, become a government employee, raising ethics questions."

* CNN:  "Ivanka Trump to get top security clearance and office, WH official says"

***ALSO, Related:

* POLITICO:  "Carter-era ethics rulings loom over Trump kids" - "According to the Justice Department, it's up to the president to make sure everyone acting like an appointee actually takes an oath of office."