California students, first in their families to attend college, mentor each other to succeed | Ed Source

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Source: EdSource 

Beyond the usual confusions and questions of freshmen year, low-income students who are the first in their families to attend college may arrive on campus with personal fears that they just don’t belong and will never fit in.

However, slightly older students from the same background can ease that uncertainty with advice and friendship, helping those freshmen stay on track in school and eventually graduate, experts say. That is the philosophy of an unusual and growing mentorship program called Level-Up which involves 260 students from the Los Angeles area at 29 college campuses mainly in California.

Early indications are that participants, mostly from low-income Latino families, have been continuing on into their second year of college at higher rates than the general student population, although other factors surely play a role as well, officials said. The mentoring lasts a year to try to get them successfully through freshman year when they are at highest risk of dropping out.

“It’s cool having someone who’s gone through experiences that I’m probably going to go through and help guide me,” said Allan Garcia, a freshman at Pasadena City College who joined the program this fall. Compared to a much older professional college counselor, a mentor close to his age and background makes discussions “more personal,” he said.

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California, L.A. Agree: Locking Up Young Children is ‘Nothing Good for Nobody | The Chronicle of Social Change:

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After the passage last month of a California law that will bar children 11 and younger from juvenile prosecution, Los Angeles County leaders want to go even further to decriminalize youth.

At a meeting Tuesday, the County Board of Supervisors asked key public agencies to come up with a plan on how to implement the new law through its new youth diversion initiative and assess the possibility of banning many 12- and 13-year-old youths from being prosecuted in juvenile delinquency court.

The move from the state’s largest county adds momentum to California’s already progressive stance toward children and youth involved with the justice system. Senate Bill 439, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown(D) in September, directs the state’s 58 counties to come up with plans about how to serve children ages 11 and younger outside of the juvenile justice system. Children who are facing serious charges like murder or rape will still be sent to juvenile court.

The law puts California on equal footing with Massachusetts in its prohibition of criminal prosecution of children under 12. No other state has a higher minimum age for juvenile court involvement.

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It gets worse for LAUSD: This week both the county and the state showed up to say, ‘Get your fiscal house in order or else we’re taking over’ | LA School Report

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LA Unified board members were jolted last month when a top county official showed up unannounced to say, You’re spending more money than you make and the savings you’ve been living off of are about to run out.

It got worse this Tuesday, when she came back and brought a top state official with the same message.

“Yes, my presence is indicative that this is serious,” said Nick Schweizer, deputy superintendent of public instruction for the California Department of Education, who joined Candi Clark, chief financial officer of the Los Angeles County Office of Education, at Tuesday’s board meeting. The two warned LA school board members that time was running out for them to get their house in order — or they will lose control over it and the state will eventually take over.

 

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Supervisors endorse call for 3 percent rent freeze | The Signal: Santa Clarita Valley

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After a morning of pleas, sometimes teary, made for and against a proposed interim rent freeze, Supervisor Kathryn Barger cast the lone vote opposing the measure.

In the end, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved 4-1 a motion to come up with an interim rent-freeze ordinance that would limit rent increases to 3 percent annually.

The ordinance — which the board expects to see defined in 60 days — would apply to all unincorporated areas of the county, including those in the Santa Clarita Valley, except for properties exempt from rent control.

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Commentary: Honor yesterday’s Roosevelt High School heroes by giving today’s students the modern high school they deserve | LA School Report

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Students from Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights recently took to the streets to demand action on gun control and to challenge the criminalization of youth of color. They want to study at school free from the threats of gun violence and want positive school climates that uplift them.

A march led by Roosevelt High students is not unusual. The school has a rich history of activism. On March 6, they commemorated the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Walkouts, which marked an important moment in the history of Chicanos in Los Angeles.

The fighting spirit of Roosevelt is a source of community pride. It is as if the past, present, and future live in these students. Not the concrete buildings, nor the stairs and hallways, but in the young people themselves as they fill the classrooms and take to the streets. The spirit lives in the young people inside those facilities, who come to school to learn and grow.

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School board approves a new formula for funding high-need schools | Los Angeles Times

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L.A. schools will soon get more money if they are located in neighborhoods with such problems as high levels of gun violence and asthma.

The Los Angeles Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt a new formula to determine how to dole out some funding to schools, based not only on the characteristics of the student populations but on the traumas that affect the communities around campuses.

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NBC4 and Telemundo 52 Announce Project Innovation Grant Winners

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NBC4 Southern California, Telemundo 52 Los Angeles and the NBCUniversal Foundation today announced that six local non-profit organizations will receive a total of $225,000 in grants as part of the first annual Project Innovation grant challenge. The winning organizations were selected by the stations for their outstanding programs that leverage technology to solve everyday problems in the areas of civic engagement, skills for the digital economy and STEM/STEAM youth programming.

NBC and Telemundo owned stations located in 11 markets, including Los Angeles, launched the new grant challenge in January 2018 to identify local organizations that embrace technology and innovation to develop real-life solutions for their communities.

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As Gov. Brown allocates more education funding, LAUSD moves to make sure its neediest schools benefit the most | LA School Report

Responding to years of pressure by Los Angeles community and education advocates, LA Unified next month may commit to funding schools based on a new ranking that gives priority to those with the highest-need students.

Nearly $140 million in new funding is expected to flow to the district in the next two years as part of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to fully fund his Local Control Funding Formula. Advocates want to make sure those dollars get to the students who are furthest from meeting academic standards and live with the most challenges.

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#MarchForOurLives / ELA Womyn Warriors / Wyld Womxn | Feminist Magazine

Young women are leading the March For Our Lives movement, and last Saturday brought hundreds of thousands of protestors out into the streets for rallies demanding gun control, and protesting gun violence in all communities.

Students from Inner City Struggle (ICS) marched in Los Angeles – bringing youth of color voices to this movement and mobilizing young people to #takebackthevote in California.

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Ready, set, walk out: Schools prepare for expected student protests on Wednesday | Los Angeles Times

As a 16-year-old in high school and a student of history, Axel Ortega faces a tough choice on Wednesday morning: Does he walk out of class at Garfield to take a stand or stay put? And if he walks out, does he leave his East Los Angeles campus?

Axel's principal and other administrators also have been pondering what choices Axel and other students will make and how to respond.

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