Suit against Kern County schools alleges disproportionate discipline for minorities

By Susan Ferriss

Litigation follows Center pieces highlighting harsh discipline for minorities.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… from regular school and place them in inferior alternative settings. The Center for Public Integrity in 2011 reported that Kern County, in the Golden State’s Central Valley, …"

A life-and-death struggle for asylum in America

By Susan Ferriss and Amy Isackson

Teens' tortured road to asylum in America.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Court of Appeals":

"… how higher-level federal courts have ruled on asylum cases. In 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, based in Richmond, Virginia, upheld an i …"

In Kansas, Democratic donors invest in uncertainty

By Michael Beckel

Independent Senate candidate Greg Orman lures left-leaning donors despite uncertainty about whether he'll caucus with Democrats.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… emocratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics and a Center for Public Integrity review of Federal Election Commission fi …"

Children's rights groups urge Defense program to stop giving school cops military hardware

By Susan Ferriss

Groups trying to curb use of police in school discipline urge federal officials not give military weapons to campus police departments.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… y supplies have been handed over to school districts large and small, from California, Texas, Nevada and Utah to Florida, Georgia, Kansas and Michigan.   …"

"… exas, Nevada and Utah to Florida, Georgia, Kansas and Michigan.   In California, the San Diego Unified School District acquired an 18-ton Mine-Resistant A …"

L.A. schools program aims to keep kids out of courts

By Susan Ferriss

Effort aims to keep police involvement in minor school infractions to a minimum in L.A. schools.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles":

"… opping out of school.” …"

"… dress the root causes of a student’s behavior,” said Ruth Cusick, Los Angeles-based education rights attorney with Public Counsel, the nation’s larges …"

"… ” of criminalization and that the protocol will help reverse the trend. Los Angeles Juvenile Court Judge Donna Groman also hailed the new protocol in a press …"

Class-action suit: Wrong to put kids into immigration court with no lawyers to help

By Susan Ferriss

Kids whose dad was killed by gangsters are among the plaintiffs in a suit arguing that children should have lawyers in immigration court.

Excerpts from this story referencing "law":

"… ut counsel violates both constitutional due-process rights and immigration law. The plaintiffs in the suit filed in Seattle are eight children aged 10 t …"

"… ourt, the Department of Homeland Security will be represented by a trained lawyer who will argue for the child’s deportation.” “On the other side …"

"… r the child’s deportation.” “On the other side of the courtroom, no lawyer will stand with the child,” says the suit, which was filed against U. …"

"… shed right to appointment of legal counsel in immigration proceedings. But lawyers on behalf of these children argue that they are nonetheless protected …"

Will migrant kids lose access to child-welfare and legal specialists in rush to deport?

By Susan Ferriss

Child advocates are worried possible legal changes could cut off migrant kids' access to social workers, asylum lawyers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New Jersey":

"… ter police broke up a sex-trafficking ring in North Carolina, Maryland and New Jersey in 2007. Some of the girls were caught at the border prior to 2007, P …"

L.A. judge objects to school police getting millions reserved for struggling students

By Susan Ferriss

A top juvenile court judge objects to a proposal giving school police $13 million out of a state fund to help disadvantaged kids learn.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles":

"… denas, D-San Fernando Valley, joined protests against a draft plan to fund Los Angeles school police using a special new California fund dedicated to improving t …"

"… ow to spend billions aimed at supporting the state’s neediest students. Los Angeles’ top juvenile court judge is objecting to a planned diversion of $13 mil …"

"… ll learning English as a second language.  In a June 6 letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles County Presiding Juvenile Court Judge …"

"… age.  In a June 6 letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles County Presiding Juvenile Court Judge Michael Nash said this particular po …"

States urged to embrace alternatives to school discipline criminalizing kids

By Susan Ferriss

The Council of State Governments warns that harsh school dicipline disproportionately harms ethnic minority, disabled and LBGT students.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… e Governments released a longitudinal study finding that 60 percent of all Texas students had been suspended at least once, with punishment falling particu …"

"… nal justice system — not straighten out and get engaged in school.  Texas state Sen. John Whitmire, a Democrat from the Houston area, told reporters …"

"… f-school suspensions rarely accomplish anything.”  As chair of the Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee, Whitmire said he tells his colleagues i …"

"… “you pay later” with higher incarceration costs. Whitmire said kids in Texas have been accused of misdemeanors for infractions as minor as throwing an …"

Lawsuit: Low-income students assigned too much 'work experience' or free time instead of classes they need

By Susan Ferriss

A lawsuit filed on behalf of kids in poor California schools demands state monitor and intervene practices depriving kids of teaching time.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles":

"… hose students are almost all ethnic minorities. The schools are located in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area. The suit demands that the state of …"

"… ere the conditions in their children’s schools,” said Kathryn Eidmann, Los Angeles-based staff attorney at Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono la …"

"… during his senior year, according to the suit. In South Central Los Angeles, student Jessy Cruz of a school also called Fremont High School …"

Groups seek EPA action on toxic air emissions from fracking

By Jim Morris

Sixty-four environmental and community groups on Tuesday petitioned the EPA to clamp down on toxic air emissions from fracking operations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… egulation, 64 environmental and community groups on Tuesday petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to clamp down on toxic air emissions from oil and gas operations. The 112 …"

Insurers following 'the playbook' in opposing California ballot initiative

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: multi-faceted effort to defeat California ballot initiative.

Excerpts from this story referencing "WellPoint":

"… The Los Angeles Times reported last week that health insurers — led by WellPoint, which owns and operates the state’s eight-million member Anthem Blue Cr …"

"… to an industry campaign aimed at defeating the rate regulation initiative. WellPoint contributed $12.8 million itself, and has been joined by other insurers, i …"

"… ned Sacramento-based Redwood Pacific Public Affairs, whose clients include WellPoint. The firm is headed by Rick Claussen, who is also a partner in the Washing …"

Inside the Koch brothers' campus crusade

By Dave Levinthal

The billionaire industrialists aren’t just investing in politicians, but also young hearts and minds.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New Jersey":

"… and universities during 2012. Recipients include Princeton University in New Jersey ($249,150) and Yeshiva University in New York City ($106,350), according t …"

California report: Don't spend new education money on campus police

By Susan Ferriss

As California readies to direct millions to districts with neediest kids, a new policy brief warns against spending it on campus security.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles":

"… arate and Unequal,’ " brief was prepared by two community groups in Los Angeles and Oakland whose members are concerned that too much police involvement a …"

"… schools is undeniably one of [those barriers.]” One of the groups, the Los Angeles-based Labor-Community Strategy Center, has been instrumental in persuading …"

"… into courts every year for minor infractions. The brief reports that the Los Angeles Unified School District’s budget for this year calls for spending more t …"

"… mment on the brief because officials were still reviewing it. As the Los Angeles Times has reported, parents’ groups are mobilizing to demand that 80 per …"

Harsh school discipline gets more scrutiny in Congress

By Susan Ferriss

Researchers and educators urge schools to embrace alternatives to kicking kids out on suspension.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles":

"… n, one of the researchers, who is based at the University of California at Los Angeles. He spoke at a Congressional briefing Thursday sponsored by the Black …"

"… far away the children either were forced to do home study or drop out. In Los Angeles, until recent reforms changed practices, schools were calling police at ti …"

"… led with doubts about alternative discipline methods when he worked in the Los Angeles Unified School District. “I was one of those skeptics,” he said. He …"

A world awash in a nuclear explosive?

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

Japan is leading a global move towards dangerous reactors fueled by a nuclear explosive, Thomas Cochran and other experts say.

Excerpts from this story referencing "nuclear materials":

"… ficials at 45 foreign ports so they can scan shipping containers to detect nuclear materials. It’s a daunting assignment. About 432 million shipping containers criss …"

"… overnment Accountability Office. The NNSA has never released data on what nuclear materials its foreign partners reported seizing, but intelligence officials have sai …"

Education groups battle teachers unions in state races

By Rachel Baye

Groups funded by billionaires back state-level candidates who want to weaken teachers unions and promote charter schools.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michigan":

"… who align with unions. Among these union-supported candidates in 2012 was Michigan state Rep. Rashida Tlaib, an incumbent who ran against fellow incumbent Re …"

"… cher in the Detroit Public Schools, Tlaib received the endorsements of the Michigan Education Association and the Michigan Federation of Teachers. Stapleton, …"

"… ib received the endorsements of the Michigan Education Association and the Michigan Federation of Teachers. Stapleton, on the other hand, backed charter schoo …"

"… t poured $195,000 in outside spending supporting Stapleton. Meanwhile, the Michigan Federation of Teachers, the Michigan Education Association and several oth …"

Obama announces foundation-funded project to help black, Latino youth

By Susan Ferriss

'My Brother's Keeper' is a $200 million program aimed at keeping minority youth out of the criminal justice system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles":

"… or violating some of the same school policies as white students.  In Los Angeles, in the nation’s second largest school district, where about 75 percent …"

"… e ticketing thousands of students mostly at schools in low-income areas of Los Angeles for minor infractions that juvenile court judges complained were previousl …"

"… eling rather than the courts. Manuel  Criollo, an organizer with the Los Angeles Labor-Community Strategy Center,  has led campaigns to reform school …"

Comcast Foundation's giving to minority groups likely to aid approval of Time Warner buyout

By Jason McLure

Support of minority groups key to cable deal's approval, Comcast foundation has dealt out millions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles":

"… upported Comcast’s acquisitions. In 2010, the Latino Business Chamber of Los Angeles wrote to the FCC to oppose Comcast’s acquisition of NBC/Universal, citin …"

"… light of the creation of a new Time Warner cable channel for the Los Angeles Dodgers that could increase cable rates $5 per month. As for Hispanic grou …"

New federal guidelines aimed at stopping explosion in harsh school discipline

By Susan Ferriss

Departments of Education and Justice team up to produce resource for school discipline and role of school police.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles":

"… ang affiliations and forced to pose for mock mug shots inside schools. In Los Angeles, a series of Center reports showed that the L.A. Unified School Police Dep …"

"… at school and through counseling. The Center interviewed the family of a Los Angeles boy, 12, who was arrested and charged with assault after teachers&nbs …"

"… rate of suspensions of black students. At the University of California at Los Angeles’ Civil Rights Project, whose data analysis has charted sharp racial disp …"

Nation's largest school police force, in L.A., will stop ticketing kids 12 and younger

By Susan Ferriss

After years of issuing thousands of tickets to students for minor infractions, L.A. school police will no longer cite kids 12 and younger.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles":

"… g to demand for reforms, the nation’s largest school police force — in Los Angeles — will stop issuing tickets to students 12-years-old or younger for mino …"

"… or near campuses during school hours. A memo this month to officers from Los Angeles Unified School Police Department Chief Steven Zipperman outlined the new p …"

"… respassing, jaywalking and other allegations. The new age-limit policy in Los Angeles, Zipperman said, includes room for exceptions “when all other methods of …"

"… ed. Children’s rights advocates have argued for several years that some Los Angeles school staff had begun to summon police too often to deal with minor disci …"

'Citizens United' ruling helped unions win state elections

By Alan Suderman and Ben Wieder

National unions, business groups focused on states in 2012 elections with unions gaining the edge, new analysis shows.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democracy Alliance":

"… ts of the Colorado model have been replicated on a national scale with the Democracy Alliance, a clearinghouse for liberal causes that coordinates giving from 100 or so …"

Soap opera producer tapped for top diplomatic post

By Michael Beckel

Major campaign fundraiser and soap opera producer Colleen Bell nominated to be next ambassador to Hungary.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles":

"… and, Bradley Bell, hosted two campaign fundraising events at their home in Los Angeles that Obama personally attended. One was a reception with about 1,000 suppo …"

Police killing of boy, 13, with pellet gun spotlights foiled attempts to regulate replicas

By Susan Ferriss

Andy Lopez, 13, was shot dead by deputies in California who came upon him walking with a pellet gun shaped like an AK-47.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles":

"… e National Rifle Association helped defeat a bill by Sen. Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, who came up with the proposal in response to similar police shoo …"

"… ansparent bodies or in certain neon colors. The measure had the support of Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, who invoked the tragic 2010 shooting of another …"

In nation's richest farmland, some workers' kids get no education at all

By Susan Ferriss

Disciplined teens get no education for months because they can't do commute.

Excerpts from this story referencing "teacher":

"… ependent study at home with only once-a-week minimum mandatory visits with teachers. Independent study may be the only option for students who live miles aw …"

"… trouble and failing at school. Even getting the kids to those once-a-week teacher meetings requires some parents to skip work and lose wages. Now it turns …"

"… mply with the requirement to get her son to school one day a week to see a teacher 40 miles away. An Arvin vineyard worker, more senior than other workers, s …"

"… ry week during last spring semester to drive his son to his meeting with a teacher 20 miles away. Kern officials told the Center that more than 2,730 high s …"

Pro-Clinton super PAC creators have dubious pasts

By Michael Beckel

People behind pro-Clinton super PAC have histories of legal troubles and bankruptcy.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles":

"… st unveiled on KickStarter, a bespectacled, twentysomething white man from Los Angeles identified as “Austin” was shown as its author. Two years earlier, …"

Health care costs will mushroom as injured veterans age

By Jessica Wilde

News21 investigation finds injured veterans returning from Iraq, Afghanistan will need costly care for decades.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles":

"… or his injuries when he was discharged, he bought two mobile homes outside Los Angeles, one for him and his two children, ages 9 and 6, and one for his mother an …"

Claims processors received bonuses while backlog more than doubled

By Mary Shinn, Daniel Moore and Steven Rich

Veterans Affairs processors shared millions in awards while claims piled high, News21 investigation finds.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles":

"… Workers in Milwaukee received more than 5,000 old claims from Houston and Los Angeles beginning June 11. Sioux Falls received 2,600 claims from St. Louis, Houst …"

Parents, advocacy groups push back against independent study at home

By Susan Ferriss

Center piece on 'throwaway kids' spurs search for alternatives.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… lication of “Throwaway kids” — documenting how disciplined California children are forced to study alone at home — education officials&nb …"

"… r school last year on a disciplinary charge in Lost Hills, Kern County, in California’s Central Valley. Erick’s mother was forced to put him on home study …"

"… . It would also cost $400 a month in gas. But Erick must be offered, under California law, an education — or Vasquez could be legally liable for her son …"

"… dependent study in Kern’s community system last year. Other counties in California also employ independent study for tens of thousands of other students enro …"

California cities seek $1 billion settlement for lead paint-related health care costs

By Lilly Fowler

Lawsuit says lead paint manufacturers should pay to remove old, toxic pigment from affected homes in California.

Excerpts from this story referencing "industry lawyer":

"… m. Just the same the publicity hits us where it hurts.” Scott, the industry lawyer, called the references to slums and minorities, “callous and regrettable …"

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