UC to Grow In-State Enrollment
The University of California board of regents recently approved a state funding measure that will allow the school system to increase enrollment, adding 5,000 more California undergraduates next year.
The regents’ decision comes after mounting pressure from the state to enroll higher numbers of in-state students.
The state will designate 25 million dollars to bring instate enrollment to 180,000 students by the 2017–2018 school year. In return, UC will reduce costs by moving students through the school more quickly, increasing summer and online classes and increasing transfer student enrollment.
The measure will also keep tuition at the fall 2011 levels until 2017, when tuition will increase based on inflation rates. In the new deal, UC will no longer offer financial aid to out-of-state students in order to redirect finances to enrollment growth.
Sex Ed Now Mandatory in State Schools
A measure signed by Governor Jerry Brown will require all California school districts to teach sex education at least once in middle school and once in high school. Individual parents may opt out their children, but schools cannot.
Originally drafted by assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, this law will ensure a comprehensive curriculum covering abstinence, contraceptives, sexuality and gender identity and will discuss all legal options for pregnancy outcomes.
The measure requires curriculum to recognize all sexual orientations and use language that includes same sex relationships.
The bill was passed and signed with no major confrontation or controversy, but some outspoken opponents of the bill criticized one provision, which would require the districts to educate students on HIV treatments that may lead to normal life expectancy. A representative of the Pacific Justice Institute said this could “shortchange a straightforward and truthful education.”
Tech Bus Drivers Get Raise and Benefits
Drivers of tech worker buses recently approved a new three-year contract that grants them a significant pay raise, benefits and paid holidays.
The contract was approved by 89 out of 94 drivers at one Teamsters’ union meeting in San Leandro, after a three month negotiation between vendor Compass Transportation and 180 drivers organized under the Teamsters.
The bus drivers were prepared to strike if the proposed contract failed to win voters’ approval.
As the tech industry has flooded San Francisco with new money, many tech bus drivers can no longer afford to live in the city, moving as far away as Stockton or even living out of their cars, The Chronicle reported on Nov. 22.
AFT Calls Off Strike Authorization Vote
The American Federation of Teachers local 2121 cancelled plans to vote whether to strike on Dec. 7, after then district’s rescinded letters sent out in early November to retired faculty demanding returned payments.
The district issued a public communication to faculty stating that they will not pursue further collection efforts until “all bargaining efforts are fully exhausted.”
The AFT also withdrew an unfair labor complaint filed on Nov. 5, prompting the district to reaffirm that they have no policy regarding the recording or videotaping of picketing or other protected activity in a public statement by the Employee Relations Office.
The collective bargaining negotiations will continue through the spring semester.