UC Tuition Hike Proposal Upsets Students, Pits UC President Against Governor

The University of California Board of Regents is set to vote Wednesday on a plan to raise tuition by as much as 5 percent every year for the next five years. The proposal is angering students, and has put UC President Janet Napolitano at odds with Gov. Jerry Brown, who is resisting the increase and urging the UC to reduce spending instead.

The Immigration Landscape 20 Years After Prop. 187

Twenty years ago California voters approved Proposition 187, which was intended to withhold public education and health services from those in the U.S. illegally. A federal court struck down the measure as unconstitutional, but the proposition is credited with galvanizing a generation of Latino voters. We'll discuss the lasting impact of Proposition 187 on California politics and the nation's immigration debate.

PBS NewsHour

How to support students on the brink of deportation

Axa Gutierrez Ramos, 5, holds her Certificate of Honor she received from the Board of Supervisors as she stands for a
         photograph after attending a San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept.
         16, 2014. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to to draw $2.1 million from a city reserve over the next
         two years to provide lawyers for undocumented youth and parents with children who are now residing in San Francisco as they
         await expedited immigration proceedings. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

A child holds her Certificate of Honor after attending a San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting in San Francisco on Sept. 16. For the thousands of students who face the possibility of deportation, schoolwork is often the furthest thing from their minds. Photo by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Editor’s Note: While President Barack Obama’s executive action last night will bring deportation relief to millions of undocumented immigrants, deportation remains a concern for thousands of children who entered the U.S. illegally. Lauren Markham addresses the question of how to best educate students undergoing the legal process.

“I didn’t want to come here, but I had no other choice,” Ricardo told me earlier this fall.

teacherslounge Ricardo, a tenth grade student at Oakland International High School, left his home country of Guatemala last spring, making his way up through Mexico and crossing into the Arizona desert. His father left when he was a baby in Guatemala and a few years later, his mother passed away. He had lived with his grandparents for several years, but in 2013, they died too.

Gang violence had increased in his hometown and because he was an orphan, he was an easy target for gang recruitment. So he left. There was nothing to go back to, he thought as he walked through the desert in Arizona. But after he got separated from his group, he spotted a border patrol car and turned himself in.

After four months and three different detention shelters in Arizona and Texas, Ricardo arrived in Oakland to temporarily live with a sponsor — a friend of a friend of the family — while he waited for his day in court. Meanwhile, he enrolled at Oakland International High School, a public school for recently-arrived immigrants, where I coordinate non-academic services and partnerships for our students and families.

Naturally, students like Ricardo and the 94 other unaccompanied minors in my school have a hard time concentrating in class. There are the effects of the trauma they’ve almost all experienced impacting their ability to focus, remember and synthesize information.

There’s also the very real preoccupation with their legal case. Unaccompanied minors all have upcoming immigration court dates; if they cannot prove that they have legal grounds to stay, they will be sent home. It’s nearly impossible to apply for any kind of immigration status without a lawyer, but lawyers are expensive and hard to come by. For students like Ricardo who face the possibility of deportation back to serious danger, it’s hard to focus on algebra or biology — on anything, really, besides their upcoming court date.

But school is critical to their future. School provides a safe, structured and supportive environment for these youth who have experienced so much instability, and they need to learn English to survive and thrive here should they be granted permission to stay. Moreover, judges tend to look favorably on children who are attending school, and are often more likely to grant asylum or special immigrant juvenile status to youth who show a commitment to becoming positive, educated, engaged residents of the United States.

So how can we keep unaccompanied youth in school?

I think we need to focus on supporting their non-academic needs. At Oakland International High School, this has meant building partnerships with legal organizations and private attorneys to setup legal clinics and intakes for our students. Local legal agencies Legal Services for Children, Centro Legal de la Raza and East Bay Sanctuary Covenant have teamed up to provide mass screening and intake days at our school. During the school day, teams of attorneys flock to our school to meet individually with students and see for what kind of relief they might qualify. More than 45 students have received lawyers this fall alone, and thus have a shot at winning their case to stay.

But legal needs are just the tip of the iceberg for students like Ricardo. We connected him with counseling services at our school so he has a trusted adult in which to confide, and our social work intern checks in with him each week to make sure his basic needs — food, clothing, shelter — are being taken care of. He joined our school’s soccer team, run by Soccer Without Borders, and now has a family of friends and positive activities in which to engage during the weekend.

But OIHS is just one of many schools nationwide grappling with how to best support the high needs of unaccompanied minors. If we really want students like Ricardo to succeed in life and in school, we need to ensure that they are connected to the services they need and deserve.

Lauren Markham is the community school manager at Oakland International High School in Oakland, California.

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Some colleges reconsider ties to Cosby

Bill Cosby attends the 2011 Temple University Commencement at the Liacouras Center on May 12, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
         Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

Bill Cosby attends the 2011 Temple University Commencement at the Liacouras Center on May 12, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

At least one college is distancing itself from Bill Cosby, the once-family-friendly comedian who has been accused of sexual assault by more than a dozen women.

Cosby’s involvement in higher education is extensive. He has been among the most prominent and generous donors to historically black colleges, especially with a $20 million donation to Spelman College. He was leading the capital campaign at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania until a few months ago.

Cosby has also been a trustee at his alma mater, Temple University, since 1982.

That’s where Cosby met one of his accusers, the former director of operations for the Temple women’s basketball team. Cosby settled a civil lawsuit brought by the woman, Andrea Constand, after she accused Cosby of drugging her and then sexually assaulting her in January 2004.

Her lawyer told a judge that 13 women were prepared to testify about similar incidents of sexual assault involving Cosby.

Cosby was attempting to resurge as an entertainer when old allegations gained new traction and new allegations of older incidents became public, including one by model Janice Dickinson, who accused him of sexually assaulting her in 1982.

In an unusual retrospective remark, a former prosecutor has since said he believes Cosby did something “inappropriate” to Constand, even though the prosecutor didn’t bring charges at the time.

Temple is standing behind Cosby. “Dr. Cosby continues to be a member of the Temple University Board of Trustees,” a Temple spokesman said in a statement.

Cosby has previously denied Constand’s and others’ accusations. His lawyer said recently that “decade-old, discredited allegations have resurfaced,” but their being now repeated “does not make them true.” At least one new alleged victim has come forward in recent days, putting Cosby’s total number of accusers at 15, including more than a half-dozen whose names are public.

A new biography of Cosby was just released. NBC, which aired his long-running, immensely popular “The Cosby Show,” was planning a new series with him. Netflix was set to post a Cosby special.

The author of the biography has been questioned over its failure to mention the longstanding allegations against Cosby. NBC canceled production of the new Cosby project. Netflix postponed releasing the special. Even TV Land, the channel that shows reruns of classic television shows, stopped airing the original “Cosby Show.”

The Berklee College of Music is following the lead of those companies in distancing itself from Cosby. The college named a scholarship for Cosby after he appeared several years ago at its 60th anniversary bash; on Wednesday, it decided to take his name off the scholarship, said Berklee spokesman Allen Bush.

Bush said college officials should be aware of the perception that campuses are unsafe – even if that isn’t true for their particular college – and that awareness should include partnerships and how they are perceived by students.

Another college, High Point University, announced a temporary shift on its ties to Cosby, who had been named to its National Board of Advisors in July. The university removed his name and photograph from the webpage of board members, and a spokeswoman told the Associated Press that “we are removing his name from our board of advisors until all information on this matter is available.” When High Point named Cosby to the board in July, the university’s announcement hailed him as “one of the most influential performers of our time.”

Cosby’s most important contributions to higher education may be at historically black colleges – which Berklee and Temple are not – and those colleges are, so far, sticking with Cosby or at least declining to say they are not.

In 1988, Cosby gave $20 million to Spelman College, the women’s college in Georgia, which is the largest donation ever made to a historically black college by an African American. Endowed chairs and a building are named after Cosby and his wife. Cosby even filmed part of a short-lived TV show at Spelman.

Spelman did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Cosby was also leading the capital campaign at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania. The university’s president has recently come under fire for being dismissive of female students’ rape accusations. A video on Lincoln’s homepage that featured Cosby was apparently removed in recent days.

Lincoln representatives said Cosby’s relationship with the university had ended this summer, as planned.

The university said Cosby was recruited to be part of the first phase of its “Student First” capital campaign. That started in summer 2013 and ended this June, though Cosby performed at a July concert to mark the end of that phase.
“Mr. Cosby has no current association with the University’s Student First campaign,” the university said in a statement.

Johnny Taylor, the president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which represents public HBCUs, said neither he nor the organization’s members were preparing to back away from Cosby without independent evidence of Cosby’s guilt or a verdict. Last year, Cosby hosted a black-tie gala for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Taylor said he had been at Lincoln on Thursday and spoken with some male students who were concerned they could be wrongly accused and the entire world could turn on them without evidence.

“We just don’t have the basis to know if this is true or not,” Taylor said of the allegations against Cosby. “And thus it would be horribly unfair to turn on someone who has been very generous with his time and his money based purely upon accusations that are, at this point, unfounded.”

If independent evidence emerged that proved Cosby’s guilt, Taylor said, “we absolutely would not condone that behavior and we would have to officially take a different position.”

On the historically black college scene, Cosby is a major presence: he speaks frequently at campus events and helps with fund-raising. At a Tuskegee University last year, donors paid $5,000 or $10,000 to speak with Cosby and get a souvenir photo.

When Norman Francis of Xavier University of Louisiana announced his retirement in early September, Cosby called him. Francis got off another call with a reporter to speak with Cosby.

Xavier and Tuskegee did not respond to requests for comment.

Cosby is also still expected to be the speaker at a fund-raising dinner Dec. 5 for Freed-Hardeman University, a Christian institution in Tennessee. The university’s website says of its speaker that Cosby is “one of the most influential performers of the last half-century.”

Berklee’s decision to take Cosby’s name off one of its scholarships was first reported by the International Business Times.

Inside Higher Ed is a free, daily online publication covering the fast-changing world of higher education.

PBS NewsHour coverage of higher education is supported by the Lumina Foundation and American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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Why Obama’s immigration announcement is also about education

Students at A Miami Dade College event announcing 22 scholarships for undocumented students through TheDream.US. Photo
         by Cristian Lazzari\Miami Dade College Media Relations.

Students at A Miami Dade College event announcing 22 scholarships for undocumented students through TheDream.US. Photo by Cristian Lazzari\Miami Dade College Media Relations.

The day after President Barack Obama unveils his plans for new changes to enforcement of the country’s immigration laws, he’ll make his case for the changes at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas. Talking about what is on its face an immigration and work permit program at a school is no coincidence.

Obama’s 2012 immigration order created a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It temporarily halted deportations and offered two-year, renewable work permits to people 30 and under who entered the U.S. illegally before turning 16. The Migration Policy Institute estimates about 1.2 million people were eligible when the program began and more than 580,000 have had their applications for the program approved as of last month. A nationwide survey released earlier this year found 70 percent of DACA recipients started a new job, more than half reported being more financially independent.

In Miami, Yesmyn Alcarazo applied for DACA as soon as he could. Then 21, he had been helping in the office of his father’s mechanic shop since graduating from high school but a new job wasn’t what he had in mind.

The same survey of DACA recipients found that 23 percent, like Alcarazo, have used their new status to go back to school.

Alcarazo moved to Miami from Peru with his family in 2002. It wasn’t until Alcarazo started filling out college applications seven years later that his parents explained they were living in the country illegally.

At first he just felt surprised. “After that, frustration,” Alcarazo said, “because all of your friends are planning to go to college. I was actually making the plans, I didn’t find out until the very end. I had sent applications and everything and then I found out.”

But he didn’t give up on the idea of going to college.

“I did the research,” he said, “but I would have qualified as out-of-state and it’s really expensive. I couldn’t burden my parents.”

Now 23, Alcarazo is a year into getting an associate’s degree at Miami Dade Community College. The campus was one of two in Florida to start offering in-state tuition to DACA recipients last year.

Students with DACA are not eligible for federal financial aid but with a scholarship from, a group that supports undocumented college students, Alcarazo can take classes full-time. Without the funding he said he would likely follow a pattern common among undocumented students.

“We’re a working family, we’re not rich and school isn’t exactly the cheapest thing,” he said. “I would probably do one semester on and one semester off to work.”

A survey by the National UnDACAmented Research Project found about 43 percent of DACA recipients pursuing a college degree “stopped out” from their studies at least once to spend time working to support family or save money for school.

“What was reported very often [by DACA recipients] was because they could now legally work it made it more possible for students to afford college,” said Margie McHugh, director of the Migration Policy Institute’s Center on Immigrant Integration Policy. “And to feel they could do something like take on an additional class.”

This summer Florida became the 17th state to pass a law granting in-state tuition waivers to students who are undocumented or part of the DACA program if they meet certain criteria, like graduating from a high school in the state that they attended for at minimum number of years.

Higher education boards or campus officials in eight more states have adopted policies granting in-state tuition to undocumented students at some or all of their public colleges and universities.

The combination of in-state tuition and the opportunity to work legally helped helped Maria Banderas, who came to the U.S. with her parents when she was 4 or 5, put her skepticism about applying for DACA aside.

“It is just an executive order, not a law, it’s just something that can be changed when the next president comes in,” the 20-year-old biology major said over the phone from the Hispanic Center for Academic Excellence at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah. “Another thing that made me skeptical was the fact that the government would have all of my information.”

She said her parents urged her to take the risk and she spent her first year with work authorization juggling two jobs, one a full-time as a customer service representative for AT&T and a part-time position bussing tables at a restaurant.

“I always knew I wanted to go to college,” Banderas said. “I was never sure it would be a possibility, but it was something that I was always going to try to get to do. I feel like with DACA and in-state tuition here, that really helped me a lot.”

Between the 2004-05 school year and 2012-13 the number of students applying for an in-state tuition waiver at Utah’s public colleges and universities rose to 929 from 149, according to the system’s communications department.

Jonathan Puente, director of the Hispanic Center at SUU said he talks to students like Banderas all the time.

“They have to pay everything out of pocket, which is a huge roadblock,” he said. “We help them find private scholarships but we have lots of students who want to come to college but don’t have the money.”

Six states make state-funded financial aid or privately funded scholarships available to undocumented students. In 2013, California’s first year of offering financial aid, nearly 20,700 people completed the state’s Dream Act application and 6,943 received a CalGrant award, which covers tuition or additional school expenses for low-income students. This year the number of applications rose to 26,676. Out of those, 8,282 received CalGrants and 6,400 got one of the state’s new middle class scholarships, according to the state’s Student Aid Commission.

DACA hasn’t only sent people into the country’s higher education system.

At Seattle Education Access, Jeff Corey, the group’s program manager, said they’re seeing an increase in undocumented people entering programs to complete high school diplomas or a GED and transition into college. DACA applicants must have either credential to qualify.

“Three years ago we worked with undocumented students and had to be really careful advising them about which programs to go into,” Corey said. “We told people right off the bat that they cannot go into healthcare because of the background checks it usually requires. Now, people can to go into new growing fields like IT and healthcare where we’re seeing lots of job openings.”

But Margie McHugh of the Migration Policy Institute said whether people can access programs like Corey’s varies from state to state.

“We wish there was more evidence of systematic activities to support these youth,” Margie McHugh of the Migration Policy Institute said. “Are we comfortable as a nation that one’s ability to benefit from this federal immigration program is greatly impacted by your state of residence? If you are a DACA eligible youth in Georgia, there is a set of state policies that make it extremely difficult to access majority of adult ed programs.”

Groups like Floridians for Immigration Enforcement would like to see more states limiting undocumented students’ access to public higher education.

“In-state tuition for illegals is in fact an amnesty disguised as an educational initiative,” the group argues on its website. “College entrants slots are fixed and limited. In-state tuition for illegal aliens places U.S. citizens in direct competition with adult illegal aliens for limited slots and tuition benefits.”

Republicans in Congress have already promised to respond forcefully in the new year to the expansion of deportation deferrals Obama will outline tonight, which many expect to cover as many as 5 million more undocumented immigrants.

That opposition keeps Utah student Maria Banderas on edge.

“I’m still a little bit worried,” she said, “because it still only temporary. But it does feel like there is some hope, whereas before DACA I felt like nothing was going to be done about it.”

Extending that hope to more people with new, legal access to work could make more take the bet that Banderas has, that investing in an education while she can will pay off in the future.

Related: Growing up undocumented, students find hope in DACA

PBS NewsHour coverage of higher education is supported by the Lumina Foundation and American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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Wash. school district tries arming administrators to protect students from shootings


Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

GWEN IFILL: A school shooting north of Seattle last month left five students dead, reviving questions of safety and violence for students and teachers.

Another school district in Washington State is answering that question in an unconventional manner: arming school administrators.

Producer Terry Murphy from KCTS in Seattle has the story.

JOHN CERNA, Superintendent, Toppenish School District: The incident that happened at Sandy Hook, for me, for our community, was the tipping point, because it really opened everybody’s eyes. How can we keep our children and our staff safe?

TERRY MURPHY: In the Toppenish School District, the answer to that question is to let school officials carry guns.

JOHN CERNA: We have taken the stance where we’re arming our administrators. And, right now, we have 11 in the school district that are currently armed.

TERRY MURPHY: John Cerna, Toppenish superintendent, is one of them.

JOHN CERNA: If this should happen, then I would be one of the first-responders. And if I had to, I would give up my life.

TERRY MURPHY: Cerna has spent his life in Toppenish, located in the Yakima Valley, a landscape painted with rolling fields and a city painted with miles of murals.

JOHN CERNA: I have carried guns forever. I have been shooting since I was a kid, so, for me, it’s very routine. I respect guns. I’m not afraid of guns.

TERRY MURPHY: Under the watchful eye of an expert, Cerna and his administrators practice their skills. All are volunteers, and most have firearm experience. We’re allowed to shoot video, as long as we hide their identity.

JOHN CERNA: I don’t want anyone to know who is armed. I don’t want them to have a target on their back.

First thing, if it’s an active shooter call, I would throw the vest on. And this vest is very simple to put on.

TERRY MURPHY: In addition to training, Cerna shows us their bulletproof vests. Over that, another vest identifies who they are when the police arrive.

JOHN CERNA: And, usually, when the police arrive, everybody’s dead. The only thing we’re doing is buying time until a police presence shows up, because we’re not the police. We’re just buying time.

We have taken guns off of students. We have taken guns off of students in the schools and out in the streets.

ADAM DIAZ, Toppenish Police Chief:

TERRY MURPHY: Adam Diaz is chief of police in Toppenish. He showed us armed guards privately employed by the school district.

ADAM DIAZ: I would like to see a police officer in every school. Do I know that that’s the reasonable option? It’s not.

MAN: Sir, let me see your hands!

TERRY MURPHY: Confronting an active shooter is a big part of police training. As this simulator demonstrates, police need to know when to shoot…

MAN: Let me see your hands!

TERRY MURPHY: … and when not to shoot. It’s these spilt-second decisions that administrators may face, and that troubles critics.

Jon Lane is one of them.

JON LANE, Former Teacher, Frontier Middle School: I know they’re well-intentioned, and I don’t doubt that at all. And, hopefully, they’re well-trained. I’m again a little skeptical that you can have enough training. Even police officers, who have extensive training, don’t always make the best choices.

TERRY MURPHY: Lane is in a unique position to talk about school shootings. In 1996, this former wrestling coach and teacher faced the barrel of a gun held by Barry Loukaitis, the Moses Lake school shooter. After almost two decades, Lane still finds it difficult to talk about that horrific day.

It began with gunshots coming from a classroom down the hall.

JON LANE: As soon as I opened the door, I smelled the gunpowder.

TERRY MURPHY: Lane dove behind this desk. Then, Barry Loukaitis gave him a choice.

JON LANE: Barry said, if I didn’t stand up, he’d start shooting more kids, so I knew I — something I had to do. I had told him I was too afraid, I couldn’t do it, and of course I was. But, by that time, I was close enough to him, and I knew it was an opportunity to end the situation, and I charged him and pinned him kind of against the wall. And the police at that time were there of course and came in.

TERRY MURPHY: Hailed as a hero and now retired, Jon Lane works in his community to promote positive change among youth.

JON LANE: I don’t have the answer. There’s lots of answers. And it’s not just a gun problem. It’s a family problem. It’s a social problem. It’s a faith community problem. There’s a lot of dynamics to it. It’s the violence in the media.

TERRY MURPHY: Among the students we spoke with in Toppenish, there seems to be a consensus about this policy.

JOSUE RODRIGUEZ, Junior, Toppenish High School: I probably would feel safer with it, because I don’t know what could happen here. Someone could come, get a shooting, but we have a staff member who’s trained and most likely will be able to stop the situation.

TERRY MURPHY: The hope in Toppenish and at every school in this country is that school shootings will stop. But if it does happen here, John Cerna will be ready.

JOHN CERNA: I will give up my life for my children, because I’m old. I have lived a great life. I have lived the dream. But give me a fighting chance. And I’m a good shot.

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