So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

UC Davis police chief says she will retire; 'this chapter of my life must be closed'

Occupy Pepper Spray

Wayne Tilcock / AP

File: In this Nov. 18, 2011 file photo, University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad in Davis, Calif.

The police chief who oversaw the UC Davis Police Department during the November incident in which peaceful protesters were pepper sprayed said today that she is retiring. 

Annette Spicuzza told the Sacramento Bee today in an email statement that she does not want the incident to define her or the university and so she is stepping down "in order to start the healing process."

"My 27 years in law enforcement have been dedicated to the ethical and committed service to the departments and communities I have been proud to be a part of," the statement read. "For the past seven years, I have accomplished many good things for both the Police Department and community here at UC Davis; and am grateful to those of you who have remembered this. As the university does not want this incident to be its defining moment, nor do I wish for it to be mine. I believe in order to start the healing process, this chapter of my life must be closed."

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How did we get here? California taxes and education funding

Tax Preparers Help Last-Minute Filers As Tax Deadline Looms

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A pedestrian walks by an H & R Block office on April 15, 2011 in San Francisco.

With Los Angeles voters facing a parcel tax to raise money for schools, and the governor's initiative to raise sales tax and taxes on higher-income earners this November to avoid cutting $5.2 billion in education funding, some people have wondered what exactly happens to their regular annual taxes.

You know, the ones due today.

People have asked me what the state does with their money. Especially since California has the highest statewide sales tax rate and one of the highest income tax rates in the country. How is it possible that the state is 47th in the nation on per-pupil spending when so much of that money is supposed to go to education?

I spoke with H.D. Palmer, the deputy director for the California Department of Finance today who tried to explain how we got here.

"What happened was the recession," Palmer said. "That's the short-form version of it."

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It's harder to get into a UC these days

Tuition Protest Signs

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

UCLA students hold up tuition hike protest signs.

It's harder to get into a UC these days.

The University of California has become more selective — accepting roughly 63.5 percent of applicants for 2012-13 compared to 68.2 percent last year — according to preliminary admissions data released Tuesday.

The 10-campus system saw a record number of applications this year with 160,939 students who applied to UC, up 13.2 percent from last year, according to numbers released in January. This was primarily due to an increase in out-of-state and international students.

The admissions numbers show a record number of students admitted, 80,289 students, because of this increased pool of applications. As anticipated in January, because there were more applicants, more were turned away. 

UC Berkeley is now the most selective campus in the system, with a 21.1 percent admit rate, followed by UCLA with a 21.3 percent rate.

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Task force recommends full review of UC Davis Police Department

AP Photo/The Enterprise, Wayne Tilcock

In this Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, photo University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad Friday in Davis, Calif. Two University of California, Davis police officers involved in pepper spraying seated protesters were placed on administrative leave Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011.

The task force report on the use of pepper spraying of peaceful UC Davis protesters in November included recommendations for a full review of the campus police department, including an assessment by an outside agency of its command structure, personnel numbers and use-of-force protocol.

The report also recommends a review of the police chief's job description, a review to bring the department's practices up to date, and the creation of annual competency trainings and annual performance evaluations.

The 32-page task force report was released online at noon today but the task force held a public meeting this afternoon to present the information and answer questions.

At the roughly 1.5-hour meeting, which was broadcast live from Freeborn Hall at UC Davis, students expressed concern about the lack of specificity in the recommendations and a need for a change in campus culture across the UC system to avoid such incidents. 

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Details: Task force releases report on UC Davis pepper spraying incident

Occupy UC Davis Protests Police Pepper Spray Incident

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

DAVIS, CA - NOVEMBER 21: UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi (C) is escorted to a car after she spoke to Occupy protestors during a demonstration at the UC Davis campus on November 21, 2011 in Davis, California.

The task force charged with investigating the November pepper spraying of peaceful protesters at UC Davis publicly released their report today finding the incident "should and could have been prevented" and that a breakdown in communication and leadership, plus a lack of proper protocols.

The 32-page report includes a hefty appendix with the 131-page independent inquiry by New York-based investigative firm Kroll, which details the events leading up to the pepper spraying incident on Nov. 18, and also includes interviews with campus officials and police officers, whose names have been redacted.

The 13-member task force, headed by former California Supreme Court Associate Justice Cruz Reynoso, was tasked with reviewing the Kroll findings and incorporating them into a report "assigning responsibility for these events."

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