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Study: California’s Native American Students Suspended, Expelled At Higher Rates And More Local, State News

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Native American students in California schools are being suspended and expelled at disproportionately high rates, according to a first-of-its-kind study. Plus, since February, 125 people from low-income neighborhoods in Stockton have been getting a monthly cash boost, with no strings attached; hear how the money is being spent. Also ahead, a multimillion dollar settlement was reached Thursday with hundreds of people who were in Las Vegas for the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. A woman from Riverside shares how the shooting changed her life. And, the Trump Administration is moving forward with a plan to collect the DNA of immigrants held in detention.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Friday, October 4th I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. Native American students in California schools are being suspended at disproportionately high rates and we look at an experiment and defining solutions to the income inequalities that plague the city of Stockton and our state. It's a good feeling, a little bit in income that more coming up right after the break.

Speaker 2: 00:29 [inaudible]

Speaker 3: 00:33 thank you for joining us for San Diego news matters. I'm Deb Welsh. Native American students in California schools are being suspended and expelled at disproportionately high rates according to a first of its kind study KPBS education reporter Joe Hong spoke with one of the study researchers.

Speaker 4: 00:52 Native American students make up less than 1% of California's public K through 12 schools, but a new study by San Diego state university found they're suspended and expelled at disproportionate rates. Expulsion rates for native American boys was four times the state average, the highest among any racial or ethnic group. Luke wood is an education professor at SDSU and coauthor on the study. He says these disparities often result from cultural misunderstanding.

Speaker 2: 01:18 Most educators are woefully unprepared under prepared to engage and teach native American students because they don't understand their culture, their live social cultural experiences.

Speaker 4: 01:29 The study also found that native American boys were two and a half times more likely to be suspended than the state average. The report looked at the 2017 2018 school year. You can see how San Diego County schools fared a K pbs.org [inaudible] K PBS news.

Speaker 3: 01:44 Newly constructed homes in California must be retrofitted with solar panels beginning in January. According to a building code bandaid KPBS science and technology reporter Shaleena Celani as details. The mandate applies to all low rise residential, including single family homes and apartment buildings. With three stories or fewer, the cost of the solar panels would be picked up by developers.

Speaker 2: 02:09 We'll be tacked on to the upfront cost of a home. So the energy commission has a couple of perspectives on this. That's energy expert. Joseph Cates from the university of San Diego. He says, the state estimates the cost of installing panels to be at least around $8,000. They think of that pencils out over time because of the cost savings in electricity over the 30 year term of that, um, solar panel on the house, the state says that could amount to around $19,000. Kate says it's part of state efforts to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals in different areas like transportation. This latest round is looking at new construction and preventing the carbon and the emissions from new construction and residential. Home buyers will be given the option to buy the panels, lease them, or get their energy through community solar. Some buildings like those in a lot of shade will be exempted.

Speaker 3: 03:00 Shalina shot Lani K PBS news. A multimillion dollar settlement was reached Thursday with hundreds of people who were in Las Vegas for the deadliest mass shooting in us history. KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman says 58 people were killed and hundreds were wounded in October of 2017 when a gunman opened fire on a crowd of country music. Listeners, nothing about my life is normal anymore.

Speaker 5: 03:24 Shrapnel hit Chelsea Roma of Temecula in her face after a gunman opened fire from a room at the Mandalay Bay hotel. You're about to hear a moment from the shooting

Speaker 3: 03:33 to me. At the time it sounded like, um, when you're a kid, those pop rocks that you throw at the ground.

Speaker 5: 03:40 The shooting left Roma without an eye and severe head trauma to my whole cheek, my eyebrow, all of this is all it's all metal, all plates, screws. Now MGM resorts, which owns the hotel, is agreeing to pay up to $800 million to victims. Attorney James France as representing Romo and nearly 200 others. MGM has stepped up and done the right thing. He says MGM resorts failed to secure the concert venue before the shooting. Virtually open to anyone that wanted to walk in and one gentleman did with 17 weapons. MGM expects the settlement to be fully resolved by the end of next year. Matt Hoffman KPBS news,

Speaker 3: 04:18 MGM says the settlement is not an admission of liability. The Trump administration is moving forward with a plan to collect the DNA of immigrants held in detention. That's according to officials with the department of Homeland security. KPBS reporter max Rivlin Adler tells us how civil liberties groups believe this might violate the privacy rights of immigrants.

Speaker 6: 04:40 In a conference call with reporters this week, DHS officials outlined a plan to expand DNA collection to all immigrants held in detention. This follows a pilot program conducted this summer along the Southwestern border, which DHS used to crack down on what deemed fraudulent families, but the new collection program would not only be used to determine parentage. It would also upload those profiles to the FBI's DNA database, which is shared by hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the country. Meet Sarah Abdulahi, an attorney with the American civil liberties union of San Diego and Imperial counties believes that this would turn an investigatory tool to one that would lead to population surveillance.

Speaker 3: 05:19 A much broader range of people are going to be swept up by this proposed expansion. Um, and really we, we think that that is basically contrary to fundamental notions of a free society.

Speaker 6: 05:30 The officials at DHS declined to elaborate why they were implementing the program. Simply saying they had the right to under a 2005 law max Waveland Adler K PBS news.

Speaker 3: 05:40 First love is a deliberately deceptive title for the latest film from Japan's prolific filmmaker to Kashi, Miki KPBS film critic Beth haka. Mondo has this review of the film opening at landmarks Hillcrest cinemas to Kashi meeting. Mickey's

Speaker 5: 05:56 films are not easy to because they

Speaker 7: 05:58 mash up genres with gleeful abandon. His latest film is a kindred spirit to true romance and even a similarly sweet and misleading title of first love. Both films have romance at their core, but the young levers exist in a brutal world in first love Leo and urea thrown together and their innocence, or perhaps their dumb luck insulates them from the chaos of Yakuza as corrupt cops, drug dealers, and murderers. When the real world is filled with so much senseless violence, it can be hard to appreciate a film that rebels in aggressive action, but Miki is such an audaciously talented artist that I can't help being captivated by his loopy charm and wild energy bell like Amando KPBS news.

Speaker 3: 06:42 Since February 125 people from low income neighborhoods and Stockton have been getting a monthly cash boost with no strings attached. The 18 month experiment is aimed at finding solutions to the income inequalities that plagued the city and our state as part of our California dream collaboration capital public radio, Sammy K reports that for the first time data has just been released on how the money is being spent

Speaker 8: 07:10 on the 15th of every month, $500 show up on Giovan Bravo's debit card. He says it changes the way he approaches the family budget.

Speaker 7: 07:18 It's a good feeling knowing no yo there should a little bit in income.

Speaker 8: 07:23 The 31 year old construction worker says the stipend has made buying school clothes and other staples for his three kids a little easier since he started receiving the money. He's cut his 68 hour work week down to about 50 hours.

Speaker 7: 07:37 It's been great. You get to spend a lot more time with the kids. Oh man. Go to pick them up from school. It would have do a lot more things on the weekend instead of always being tired.

Speaker 8: 07:46 The local organization running the experiment handpicked our subject for this story. Bravo is a member of their quote storytelling cohort. He's a Guinea pig for a concept called universal basic income, a fixed stipend that people can spend as they choose. Supporters see it as a replacement or at least a supplement for a broken welfare system. Several presidential candidates are running on some version of this. Here's Kamala Harris.

Speaker 2: 08:11 Almost half of American families are a $400 unexpected expense away from complete upheaval, and so I'm proposing that we give them a lift up

Speaker 8: 08:22 and Andrew Yang [inaudible] flagship proposals, the freedom dividend of $1,000 a month for every American adult starting at age 18 critics worry. People will use the money to buy drugs and alcohol or that they'll stop working altogether. Proponents say a little financial security could inspire people to start businesses and seek education. The first data to come out of the Stockton experiment shows recipients are spending roughly 40% of the money on food followed by clothing and home goods and then utilities. The data does not include cash expenditures from the debit card, but UC Berkeley economist Jesse Rothstein says pilots like the one in Stockton aren't the most accurate tool for predicting behavior because people won't make major life changes when the income bump is

Speaker 9: 09:05 temporary. They just can't be transformative at this scale. You'd have to scale them up by many orders of magnitude to have the kinds of impacts people are talking about and nobody has figured out how to pay for that.

Speaker 8: 09:16 Outside Stockton city hall cars rushed by on their morning commute. It's a diverse city. Fewer than half of residents are white. It's also a place trying to reinvent itself. A decade ago it was known as America's foreclosure capital and still more than one in five residents live in poverty. The city's mayor, 29 year old Michael Tubbs wants to see a Renaissance. He's planning major beautification projects downtown inside his office at city hall tubs explains he's trying to change the look and reputation of the city while giving some of the people here a hand up.

Speaker 10: 09:51 It's just all about breaking cycles of poverty and increasing. Then I have opportunity for everyone.

Speaker 8: 09:56 The mayor is acting as our front man for the experiment, but the city isn't footing the bill. The $3 million it takes to run the program comes from a private foundation pushing for universal basic income.

Speaker 10: 10:07 For so long. People have looked at Stockton for examples of what things are bad. Uh, but this is one of a couple of examples where now people are looking at something for solution.

Speaker 8: 10:17 Giovan Bravo is a Stockton native. He grew up poor and he has a criminal record, but he wants his kids to have a different life

Speaker 7: 10:24 stocked in. It's a very dangerous city at times. Um, so I try to keep my kids out of the streets and studying in school and stay busy and extracurricular activities.

Speaker 8: 10:40 That's why some of his monthly deposit goes to sports camps and gymnastics classes. When the pilot ends, he'll go back to working Saturdays to keep up with those expenses. Stockton is one of two cities with a basic income pilot underway in Stockton. I'm Sammie K Yola

Speaker 3: 10:56 democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren held a town hall at waterfront park in downtown San Diego last night. KPB has Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says the Massachusetts Senator brought her message of big structural change to a crowd of some 8,500 people.

Speaker 11: 11:16 [inaudible]

Speaker 9: 11:16 he comes to San Diego as she's experiencing a notable rise in the national polls and just this week, a poll of California voters founder in first place just barely ahead of former vice president Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders in the race for the democratic nomination. She also picked up a San Diego endorsement Thursday.

Speaker 12: 11:35 Today. Elizabeth Warren laid out the best labor worker plan I've ever seen in my entire life because of course she has a plan for that

Speaker 9: 11:45 state assembly member Lorena Gonzalez who gave Warren's introduction or in started her speech with a familiar story about her childhood when her father suffered a heart attack and her mother was forced to start working outside the home and that minimum wage job saved our house and it saved our family. Warren gave a brief history of her life, young mother, special education teacher, law professor. She said she was drawn to the question of why America's middle class is being hollowed out. Her answer, the government is working great for drug companies but not those just trying to fill a prescription. It works great for oil companies but not for those who feel the threat of climate change

Speaker 12: 12:26 and when you see a government that works great for those with big money and isn't working so well for everyone else, that is corruption, pure and simple, and we need to call it out for what it is. Corruption.

Speaker 9: 12:47 Warren speech didn't even mention the biggest news in recent weeks. The impeachment inquiry into president Trump. She only spoke about Trump in response to a question an audience member said the president had divided the country and asked how she would bring it back together. She said with her ideas, including a new wealth tax on people who have more than $50 million, not just the majority of Democrats like it, not just the majority of independence like it, but the majority of Republicans like it,

Speaker 12: 13:19 and that's why we're going to win. It's why we're going to make change and it's how we're going to start bringing this nation back together.

Speaker 9: 13:27 After Warren finished, Leon of Carlsbad said he's not ready to commit to voting for the Senator, but he said he's impressed by the specificity of her plans and her experience taking on big corporations and also the ability to kind of connect for bottom to top. I mean, she basically, like she said today in her speech, she wanted to be a special ed teacher. She had the opportunity to go beyond that and eventually Rose up to the Senate and now he's running for president. So that to me is the American story. Christine Lopez of LA Mesa is a full blown war and supporter. She says she likes how the Senator speaks from the heart.

Speaker 1: 14:01 She has this energy that is just really um, contagious I think. So it was really great to hear her kind of go through her plans and just the way that she told her story and kind of wove her story into that was it was just really, I felt like I was witnessing something special

Speaker 9: 14:20 like she does after every campaign event. Warren took time to pose with anyone who wanted to take a selfie with her. She also answered a few questions from reporters when asked what she would do to address the homelessness and high housing costs that plagues San Diego. She answered with one of her campaign slogans. I got a plan for that. So I have a housing plan that would build about 3.2 million new housing units and it would help provide housing for middle class families for class families. We need a bigger housing supply in America and we can do that by making a real federal investment. And yes, I have it paid for and probably won't be the last. I'll ask democratic presidential candidate to make a stop in San Diego with the state's early primary on March 3rd candidates are paying much closer attention to golden state voters than in previous elections. Andrew Bowen KPBS news, thanks for listening to San Diego news matters. If you'd like the show, do us a favor and tell your friends and family to subscribe to the show.

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San Diego News Matters

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.