Higher Education

Legislature Moves Health Bills Forward with Bipartisan Support

By Linda Leu

Tuesday, the Assembly Health Committee met in regular session to consider a bill that would close a loophole in the Affordable Care Act, affirming the Legislature's commitment to improving upon the federal law.

Dr. Richard Pan's bill, AB314, addresses a loophole in the Affordable Care Act that exempts self-funded student plans from some of the important consumer protections of federal health reform. Notably, there is no prohibition on annual or lifetime benefit caps, meaning students that have high health care costs could see their insurance "run out" once the plan has paid a certain dollar amount toward their care.

What Ails American Higher Education?

By Steve Hochstadt

American higher education has some big problems. We still have a world-class network of colleges and universities. Students from less developed and from highly developed nations come to the US to get BAs and advanced degrees. Our teaching practices are copied, our researchers have made English a universal scientific language, and our graduates can compete across the globe.

The hundreds of small colleges scattered across the US represent a unique American contribution to undergraduate education, which is being copied in Europe. Not only has American higher education led the world in the integration of women and minorities into faculties and administration, but American scholars have developed the broadest critique of economic inequality, abuse of political authority, and social discrimination.

Governor Proposes Pivotal 2013 Budget, Boosts to Medi-Cal, Schools

By Christopher Allen
California Progress Report

California Governor Jerry Brown unveiled his 2013-14 budget proposal yesterday, declaring that the state's lean years of budget deficits are over. In place of dramatic spending cuts, the governor's $97.6 billion dollar plan instead offers modest boosts to school funding, along with an expansion of the Medi-Cal program as the state transitions to its Covered California health benefit exchange in compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act.

California Higher Education: Diminishing Opportunity and Competitiveness

By Patrick M. Callan

Any Californian with a modicum of concern about the future of the state should be dismayed by the state's massive disinvestment in one of its major public assets. Since 2008, state and local support for public higher education has been reduced by $2.4 billion, a cut of nearly 20 percent. The passage of Proposition 30 creates a plateau on this downward path, but it will neither restore lost college opportunity to thousands of Californians nor assure the future availability of college access. It could, however, buy time and space for state and college leaders to undertake a long overdue reexamination of California higher education in the context of current and prospective state needs for a competitive workforce and for college opportunity.

Prop 30 Would Affirm "California Promise" to Education, Social Mobility

By Dan Aiello

Advocates of universal access to higher education fear California voters, faced with two competing education tax initiatives will fail both, effectively abandoning the state's historic commitment to provide access to higher education for all.

Proposition 30 will provide funding to California's K-12 schools, but additionally will fund the state's university, state college and community college systems to offset state budget cuts that have already endangered access to the educational opportunities once guaranteed all qualified students by the state under its Master Plan on Education.

Prop 30 will raise revenue through a temporary quarter cent sales tax increase and a temporary income tax increase on wealthier state residents.

Humanity Not Austerity: Time to Step It Up for Prop 30

By Malinda Markowitz, RN

It's time to get serious about protecting our schools, our basic healthcare services, and the public support so essential to assuring a civil society in California.

Attention Californians: We need to pass Proposition 30.

With the latest polls showing a real tightening on the measure, let's recall what is at stake, and take a harder look at who is financing the campaign against this vital measure.

DREAMer Deferred Action Suffering from Low Application Submissions

By David Dayen

The first day of the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program saw thousands of DREAM-eligible youth line up for the chance to apply for two years of temporary legal status. This policy shift was touted heavily at the Democratic National Convention. After the initial flush, however, applications have slowed amidst a variety of issues.

From Tijuana, Ex-Dreamer Calls for Immigration Reform

By Jacqueline Guzmán-Garcia, Translated by Elena Shore

Photo: Nancy Landa at graduation

Nancy Landa was working in the public sector at a California organization that fateful September in 2009, when she was 29. She had graduated with honors in 2004 with a degree in business administration from California State University, Northridge (CSUN), and had a steady job. Everything seemed normal.

All of a sudden, at the Third Street entrance to Highway 710 N toward Long Beach, Landa was stopped by two immigration officials. They got out of a van and, without showing her any official documentation, told her she was under arrest.

“I’m dreaming -- it’s a nightmare,” Landa thought as she climbed in the vehicle with four other people, heading to a detention center in downtown Los Angeles.

Social Scientists’ Brief with Supreme Court Sheds New Light on Diversity

By Eva Paterson
Equal Justice Society

On August 13, the Equal Justice Society, the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and the Haas Diversity Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 13 of the country’s leading social scientists in the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, urging the Court to uphold modest race-conscious admissions policies.

The brief cites studies, provided to the Supreme Court for the first time, showing that race-conscious admissions policies such as those used by the University of Texas at Austin result in a more diverse student body, which is essential to produce leaders able to compete in the 21st century global marketplace. The brief also explains how structural barriers inhibit educational opportunity.

April Tax Showers are a Drought, the Facebook "Bump" is About to Fizzle, What's So Merry About the Month of May?

By Sheila Kuehl

Perhaps the ancient cyclical rhythm of each natural passing year dictates our moods and actions even when our feet are firmly planted on cement.  Perhaps our very genes contain some race memory that draws us to the seasonal nature of ancient gardens we no longer really remember. Is that why we seem to harbor a continual hope for the saving graces of the merriest month of May? Each year the Legislature looks to the "May Revise", the new budget proposal from the Governor that follows the "cruelest" month of tax collection (with apologies to T.S. Eliot), with a strange hope that May will bring a miraculous rebirth. Instead, as Peter Loewer, the renowned gardening guru, wrote, "In May, the discussion of philosophy is over--it's time for the work to begin."