Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Bill creates UC pipeline for low-income Californians

A group of UC Davis students, whose main goal is to see Chancellor Katehi fired, occupy the area outside her office, Tuesday, March 29, 2016, on the fifth floor of Mrak Hall.
A group of UC Davis students, whose main goal is to see Chancellor Katehi fired, occupy the area outside her office, Tuesday, March 29, 2016, on the fifth floor of Mrak Hall. lsterling@sacbee.com

So far, 2016 has been a year of controversy for the University of California.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi initially came under fire after she accepted a $70,000-a-year seat on the DeVry Education Group’s board. Further digging revealed that Katehi also accepted several hundred thousand dollars over the last few years sitting on the board of a college textbook publishing company. The controversy sparked student protests at the campus calling for her resignation, with at least two legislators equally worked up about her corporate ties.

Last week a blistering state audit admonished the university system for lowering academic standards for out-of-state students and admitting fewer Californians.

With so much attention on higher education, Senate President pro tem Kevin de León intends to unveil a bill today to offer more advanced college-readiness coursework in K-12 schools and help low-income students become more qualified applicants for the University of California. De León’s office has remained hush-hush about the details of Senate Bill 1050, introduced in February as a spot bill, and says it will give school districts and charter schools incentives to offer more “rigorous” work and funnel more disadvantaged students into the UC system.

De León intends to introduce the bill, alongside Senators Ed Hernandez, D-Azusa, and Richard Pan, D-Sacramento and numerous educational leaders, at San Gabriel High School at 10 a.m today.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Gov. Jerry Brown sounds off gangs running California prisons.

CALLED OFF: After months of failed negotiations, California State University and its faculty union seem to have finally reached a tenative contract agreement Thursday.

The agreement was announced the day after the two sides, which mostly grappled over compensation, said they were engaging in intense talks to avoid a five-day strike scheduled to begin on April 13. Last week a fact-finding report conducted by a third party largely agreed with the union’s demands, finding that the teaching staff deserved a 5 percent raise and then some. The union and the university are holding a conference call at 10 a.m. to explain the details of the agreement.

CLOSING IN: Bernie Sanders, buoyed by young people and independents, is closing the gap on Hillary Clinton in California, according to a new poll. Reporter David Siders explains the data behind the Vermont senator’s growing popularity.

POTUS IS LANDING: In California for a series of private fundraisers, President Barack Obama landed in Los Angeles Thursday and will travel to San Francisco today. The president is scheduled to spend the night in the Bay Area and head out again Saturday afternoon.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, turns 56 and Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, celebrates her 76th on Sunday.

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