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More Black and Latino Parents See Racial Inequities in School Funding

By Khalil AbdullahNew America Media

African American and Latino parents see a lack of funding as the biggest cause of racial disparities in education, according to a newly released poll by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

While the poll’s findings are not new, they also speak to the high aspirations that black and Latino parents have for their children. 

Read the complete story at New America Media.

To learn more about the issues of diversity in schools, read the Winter 2015 San Francisco Public Press special report, Choice Is Resegregating Public Schools.

California Schools Respond to Students' Fears of Trump Immigration Policies

By Jenny Manrique, New America Media/Univision News

On a recent Saturday, approximately 150 students from  Bay Area high schools spent the day talking about one of their biggest concerns: their emotional health in the age of Donald Trump.

The students — most of whom were undocumented, others with a relative without papers — were at the annual High School DREAMers Unite! event, held at Sequoia High School in Redwood City, 30 miles south of San Francisco.

“We all have to learn to deal with emotions, especially at this time of so much anger when many feel they want to leave the United States,” said Marvin, a 16-year-old Salvadoran who is part of the Dreamer’s Club at the high school. Latinos make up nearly 60 percent of the student population at his school, with an estimated one undocumented student per classroom. 

Read the complete story at New America Media/Univision News.

In California Battles Over Product Labels, Industry Usually Wins

By Laurel Rosenhall, CALmatters

Nail polish and hair dye. Cleaning products. Plants and flowers for the garden.

All of these could get new labels under proposals being considered by California lawmakers, triggering an annual conflict in the state Capitol over how much to tell people about what they buy at the store or use at work.

The bills reflect a recurring tension in the statehouse: Environmentalists and consumer advocates argue that people have a right to know what’s in everyday products, while industry lobbyists say putting too much information on a label could harm sales by creating unfounded fear. In most cases, industry wins.

Read the complete story at CALmatters.

California Lawmakers Move Toward New Renewable Energy Goals

By Guy Marzorati, KQED News Fix

Democrats in California’s Senate doubled down on the state’s commitment to reducing dependence on fossil fuels, painting their move in contrast to Donald Trump’s potential withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.

The Senate on Wednesday voted to set a goal of getting all of the state’s power from renewable energy sources by the year 2045. The aspirational target in SB100 builds on the existing mandate that half of the electricity produced in the state come from clean sources by 2030.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

 

From Foreclosure to Eviction: One Family’s Struggle to Recover

By Zaidee Stavely, KQED News Fix

When Vanessa and Richard Bulnes got an eviction notice, it felt sadly ironic. The Bulneses were unable to pay the rent because their corporate landlord took three years to remediate high levels of lead in the backyard soil, which caused Vanessa to lose her business — a family home child care that she had run for more than 20 years.

“There were nights where I would wake up and think, ‘We’re squatters.’ And we felt really bad about that because it was never our intention to not pay rent,” Vanessa said. “Because after you lose a house for not paying your mortgage, we knew that’s not the way to go. This was like a second chance. We didn’t want to be at the mercy of somebody saying, ‘You gotta get out’ again.”

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

Your CBO Cheat Sheet: 5 Takeaways From GOP Health Bill

By Carrie Feibel, KQED News Fix/The California Report

An estimated 23 million additional Americans will become uninsured over the next decade if the current version of the Republican health care bill goes into effect, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis released Wednesday.

This is only slightly lower than the 24 million predicted in March, before Republicans tweaked the bill to pull in critical votes from both moderate and hard-right Republicans. The bill passed the House on May 4.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix/The California Report.

Understaffed S.F. 911 Dispatch Center to Get Computer Help, Additional Hires

By Ted Goldberg, KQED News Fix

San Francisco emergency officials, who have been scrambling to respond to an increasing number of calls to the city’s 911 dispatch center, plan to roll out new technology in the coming weeks that aims to improve ambulance response times.

The center’s staffing problems have been known for some time, but they were highlighted during the massive power outage that took away electricity from around 90,000 Pacific Gas & Electric customers on April 21.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

Push to Limit Money Bail Gains Steam in California

By Marisa Lagos and Sukey Lewis, KQED News Fix/The California Report

Every year in California, nearly 1 million people are arrested and booked into jail.

Their freedom before they go to trial often hinges on a century-old money bail system that critics say favors the rich: If you can pay, you’re free — and if you can’t, you’re stuck behind bars.

Read the complete story at KQED/The California Report.

Affordable Care Act Will Wipe Out Coverage Gains by Small Business Workers and Self-Employed

By Viji SundaramNew America Media

Republicans’ efforts to repeal and replace portions of the Affordable Care Act threatens the health coverage of California’s self-employed, as well as workers in such small businesses as restaurants, small retailers and family farms.

A study out May 18 by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education showed that more than 1 million small business employees and over half a million self-employed Californians benefited from the health insurance options provided by the Affordable Care Act.

Read the complete story at New America Media.

 

California Advances Private Sector Retirement Plan Without Feds

By Guy Marzorati, KQED News Fix/The California Report

California officials vowed to move ahead with a retirement savings program for the state’s private sector workers, a day after losing the federal government’s support for the initiative.

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon and State Treasurer John Chiang said Thursday that the state will still enact the Secure Choice program, authorized last year, that will create retirement accounts for nearly 6.8 million Californians. De Leon criticized opponents of the plan as representing the interests of large banks and brokerage firms.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix/The California Report.