Showing 27 posts tagged california
Students and faculty are gearing up for a fight to oppose legislation that would allow California community colleges to charge more for high-demand courses during summer and winter sessions.
Colleges would be able to offer extension programs for credit leading to certificates, associate’s degrees and for transfer to four-year universities, if enrollment was at capacity the preceding two years.
The bill, AB 955, is similar to a controversial plan attempted by Santa Monica College last summer to offer core education classes such as English, math and history at a cost of about $180 per unit, alongside state-funded courses set by the Legislature at $46 per unit. The school argued that extension courses would give students who couldn’t get into regular classes another option to complete their education.
» via The Los Angeles Times
A powerful California lawmaker wants public college students who are shut out of popular courses to attend low-cost online alternatives – including those offered by for-profit companies – and he plans to encourage the state’s public institutions to grant credit for those classes.
The proposal expected today from Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat and president pro tem of the state Senate, aims to create a “statewide system of faculty-approved, online college courses,” according to a written statement from Steinberg’s office. (A spokesman for Steinberg declined to discuss the bill.)
Faculty would decide which courses should make the cut for a pool of online offerings. Likely participants include Udacity and Coursera, two major massive open online course providers, sources said. Another option might be StraighterLine, a low-cost, self-paced online course company.
» via Inside Higher Ed
School officials in Santa Ana were in a bind several years ago: they wanted to build hundreds of new classrooms, but feared that voters would rebel against tax increases to pay for the construction.
So in 2009, the Santa Ana Unified School District borrowed $35 million using an inventive if increasingly controversial method known as capital appreciation bonds, which pushed the cost of the construction on to future taxpayers. Not a cent is owed until 2026. But taxpayers will eventually have to pay $340 million to retire that $35 million debt.
Since 2007, hundreds of school districts and community colleges across California have used capital appreciation bonds to raise nearly $7 billion for various construction projects, according to data from the state treasurer’s office. The bonds have allowed school districts that are short on cash to finance classroom renovations and new athletic facilities while delaying payment for years, or even decades.
But these new facilities often come at an enormous cost to future taxpayers, who will be liable for huge interest payments that sometimes balloon to more than 10 times the amount borrowed over as much as 40 years. By contrast, repayment on traditional school bonds usually costs no more than two to three times what was borrowed.
» via The New York Times (Subscription may be required for some content)
A California proposition that passed overwhelmingly in the fall would have forced registered sex offenders to hand over a huge amount of information about their online lives. Now, that proposition has been put on hold because of a preliminary injunction from a San Francisco federal judge, who says that the new law is just too wide-ranging and could violate the constitutional rights of offenders.
The challenge to the law was filed the day after the election day by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU on behalf of two of California’s nearly 74,000 registered sex offenders. One was convicted in 1986 and the other in 1993, for unspecified offenses that aren’t related to the Internet in any way. The ACLU has noted that some people are registered offenders for very old, misdemeanor offenses such as indecent exposure and don’t warrant the kind of intense surveillance called for in Proposition 35.
The law would have required far-reaching surveillance of registered sex offenders. For instance, they would have had to disclose all of their online “identifiers,” including e-mail addresses, usernames for any online services, and social media monikers. It would have made anonymous online speech for that population essentially impossible.
» via ars technica
Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Thursday a number of bills affecting California colleges and their students, including two measures designed to provide students with access to free online textbooks for 50 undergraduate courses. The measures (Senate Bills 1052 and 1053) establish a nine-member faculty council that will identify the classes for which open-source digital textbooks should be developed and oversee the texts’ development, and create a digital library to house the textbooks and other courseware. “There’s absolutely no reason a basic biology, statistics, or accounting textbook, for example, should cost $200,” the State Senate’s president pro tempore, Darrell Steinberg, author of the two bills, said in a written statement.
» via The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription may be required for some content)
California legislators last week sent a bill to the governor’s desk that would prohibit colleges from requiring students to hand over access to their social media accounts, raising the re-emerging question of how much control athletes — who are very much public faces of many universities — should have over personal accounts that nonetheless are visible in the public domain.
The California Senate passed the bill the same week the Universities of Kentucky and Louisville became the latest institutions to take flak on the issue, for requiring athletes to install software that monitors posts on their accounts or forfeit their spot on the team. The Golden State is the second in two months to pass such a bill, after Delaware, which forbade colleges from requesting or requiring login information or software installation, or allowing officials to view content that an athlete has classified as private online. (Both Facebook and Twitter allow users to customize privacy settings.) Maryland’s Senate passed a similar bill that ultimately stalled.
The only content of concern is what the public can see because that is what affects “the brand” of the university and the athlete, the Kentucky athletics spokesman DeWayne Peevy said.
» via Inside Higher Ed
A bill that would require law enforcement agencies to obtain a search warrant when they want to collect location information from electronic devices, such as data from GPS devices and GPS on cellphones, was passed by the California Assembly this week.
“Location privacy scored a victory,” wrote Hanni Fakhoury of the Electronic Frontier Foundation which, along with the ACLU of Northern California, sponsored the bill, SB 1434. The bill, Fakhoury said, also “codifies” the U.S. Supreme Court decision last January that police must get a search warrant before using GPS technology to track criminal suspects.
» via nbcnews.com