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Monterey County Education Digest

California Cuts Off Financial Aid to 120,000 Students Every Year. Here’s Why


To qualify for financial aid, students must maintain a certain grade-point-average, but many don’t. A bill on Gov. Newsom’s desk would make it easier for students to keep their aid and stay in college.

California Community College Enrollment On the Rise, But One Group Lags Behind


After a historic decline in community college enrollment during the pandemic, students are returning to school again, according to the state’s most recent data. But students between the ages of 20 and 30 are lagging behind.

Carmel Decides to Wait on Naming New School Superintendent


The Carmel Unified School District board approved a motion to not conduct a superintendent search, and instead will consider appointing one at a future closed-session meeting.

Cal State Tuition to Rise 34 Percent Over Five Years


The tuition increases were forecast earlier this year, when a Cal State task force concluded the system needs at least $1.5 billion annually in new revenue to afford student services and bolster its academic offerings.

CSU Board of Trustees Approves 6% Annual Tuition Hikes Over 5 Years


Despite pushback from students, teachers and others, the California State University system will see tuition hikes.

CSU Monterey Bay Rises in College Rankings


“With the release of the report, California State University Monterey Bay continues to show improvement year over year,” said the university’s president, Vanya Quiñones.

No Classes? No Lectures? Still Get Your Degree? Yes, Under an Experimental New System at California Community Colleges


Eight community colleges in California are testing out a new education model, one that defines success by the skills a student learns, not the time they spend in a classroom. But changing the traditional education system isn’t easy.

A Plan to Guarantee Community College Transfer to California’s Public Universities is Back in Play


The plan, if approved, would begin at UCLA, with other campuses added later. But not everyone is on board with the latest version of this bill.

A Conversation With MPC’s New Leader


Marshall T. Fulbright III, Monterey Peninsula College’s 12th superintendent/president, has jumped head-first into his new responsibilities.

Why Aren’t Kids Going to School? After Pandemic, Chronic Absenteeism Hitting Crisis Levels


Nearly a third of K-12 students statewide were chronically absent in 2020-21, more than three times the pre-pandemic rate. Some school officials fear that pattern is becoming the new normal.

Legislative Fix Would Save Student Housing at Some California Community Colleges


A June budget deal required community colleges to raise their own money to build affordable student housing. Some campuses said that plan prevented them from building the dorms, even with help from the state to pay the debt.

MPUSD Continues to Fight Student Homelessness as Numbers Rise


Homelessness is something Monterey Peninsula Unified School District has prioritized. Resources have evolved from one homeless youth liaison to seven full-time staff devoted to the district’s youth and families experiencing homelessness.

New UC Berkeley Housing Law Won’t Yet Clear the Way to Build Dorms, Even if Approved


Assemblymember Buffy Wicks proposed legislation to help get around a court's rejection of a UC Berkeley housing plan. But even if the law is approved, its fate is in the hands of the state Supreme Court.

5 Steps to Prepare for Student Loan Repayment


The federal student loan payment pause is coming to an end. Here’s how to get ready to make payments again.

Pacific Grove Seeks ‘Approachable and Adaptable’ Superintendent


At the first public forum, community members addressed desirable personal and professional qualities for the new hire, and the strengths and challenges of the district.

Carmel Unified to Begin Superintendent Search in September


While the Carmel Unified School District searches for its next superintendent, Sharon Ofek will serve as the interim superintendent, the board announced last week.

Pacific Grove Unified School District Seeks Community Input for Superintendent Search


The district will hold two community open sessions for the public to learn more about the search process and offer input on what they’d like to see in the district’s next leader.

Cal State Pushes Back on Community College Plan to Offer Bachelor’s Degrees


A new law allows community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees, an option for students unable to attend a four-year institution. But California State University officials are objecting to many of those proposed programs.

Out—Hot Dogs. In—Vegan Masala. California School Lunches Go Gourmet


Last year California began providing free school lunches to all TK-12 students, regardless of family income. Now, with an influx of state and federal money, school districts are revamping kitchens and training staff so they can provide freshly made, healthy meals.

How to Find Factual Health Sources


More than 70% of people have been exposed to medical or health-related misinformation, according to a GoodRx Health study. This means many people are struggling to tell the difference between factual information and false information.

Sexual Harassment Data From Cal State is ‘Unreliable.’ No One Knows How Many Employees Have Been Accused


Two recent reports on sexual harassment complaints filed against Cal State employees conclude inconsistent data collection makes it difficult to determine a reliable number.

Lack of Respect, Poor Salaries


The nation’s teacher shortage confirms that the teaching field is in disarray. Educators from the Salinas Union High School District also cite a decline in student engagement, which became a major issue after the pandemic, particularly with freshmen and sophomores who are glued to their devices.

Salinas School Teacher Gets Kids Up and Out of Class, and into the Water


Jeff Smallwood, a second grade English teacher at Los Padres Elementary School in East Salinas, was aware that relatively few of his students had ever seen the ocean.

Report Finds Cal State Repeatedly Fell Short in its Handling of Sexual Harassment Allegations


After several high-profile sexual harassment cases, Cal State needs more training, staff and outreach to students and employees, an outside firm concludes.

New Cal State Chancellor Must Deal With Misconduct Allegations, Massive Budget Gap


Mildred García will take over a system confronting a budget shortfall, declining enrollment and complaints about how Cal State officials have handled sexual misconduct allegations.

How Sacramento State Fostered a Diverse Student Body Without the Help of Affirmative Action


Sacramento State is one of the most diverse colleges in all of California—a state that stopped allowing race to be a criteria for admission in its public academic institutions in 1996 with the passage of Proposition 209.

Should Student-Athletes Get a Slice of School Sports Revenue? California Bill Sparks Backlash.


A proposal to set up degree completion funds for California student athletes has met with stiff opposition from universities and the NCAA. College athletes could earn a share of the revenue they generate under the bill — as much as $25,000 for each year that they played their sport. But the bill’s author has delayed it until 2024 after opponents charged the fund would draw money away from less lucrative sports like gymnastics and swimming.

Who Counts as a ‘First-Generation’ College Student? California Colleges, Universities Can’t Agree.


Many California colleges and universities define “first-generation college student” differently, creating a confusing situation for students to navigate.

How’s California’s Middle Class Scholarship for Public University Students Going So Far?


A budget deal between lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newson includes $227 million more for the state’s Middle Class Scholarship, part of a commitment to eventually remove any reason for public university students to go into debt. The revised program debuted last year, sending an average of nearly $2,000 to 300,000 students.

Cal State Proposes Annual Tuition Hikes to Make Up Budget Gap


Breaking from over a decade of traditionally not raising tuition for its students, Cal State leaders on Thursday released a proposal that would start annual increases in fall 2024. They say it’s the only way to make up a shortfall between operating costs and revenues.

Pacific Grove Superintendent Joins Monterey County Office of Education


“We’re really excited that he’s joining the MCOE team and we look forward to the great work that he’s going to do,” said Deneen Guss, the county’s superintendent of schools.

California Parents Want to Make High-Quality Education a Constitutional Right


Advocates supporting a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a right to a high-quality education say they want to hold schools accountable. But critics fear its vague language could unleash a barrage of lawsuits.