It’s Arlene Martínez with news to jumpstart your week.
But first, not what a hamburger’s all about: Two members of a group opposed to a new In-N-Out Burger announce a bid for elected office in the Coachella Valley.
In California is a roundup of stories from newsrooms across the USA TODAY Network and beyond. Never miss a newsletter by signing up here. It’s free!
Learning in dos lenguajes
Remember that time in California history when people thought knowing one language was better than two? That was in 1998, when voters approved a law mandating English-only instruction. They later repealed it, but getting English learners to be successful academically remains a challenge, even as the number of dual-language programs grows.
In the Golden State, English learners comprise one in five students. Across the country from 2000 to 2015, the percentage of Latino students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools grew from 16% to 26%.
Dual-language programs have grown too, from 300 in 2001 to around 3,000 dual-language programs as of 2015, says Santiago Wood, executive director of the National Association for Bilingual Education. It’s a big increase, but not enough to help the surging number of English learners, and the programs can be tough to implement.
Hurdles include public hostility against those who speak a native language other than English, shortages of bilingual teachers and even that dual-language programs often grow fastest in areas where upper-income parents ask for them.
This story is part of the USA TODAY Network’s Hecho en USA Series, which aims to capture how some of the nation’s 59.9 million Latinos live, work and learn.
Did you know: English is not the country’s official language. We don’t have one.
Big, diseased lemons and more state budget stuff
Sweet summer lemonade’s on your mind as you hold the giant lemons your tree just produced. But wait — they may not even be lemons and your fruit might be sick.
Shorter probation + more rehabilitation: The proposed state budget sets aside $210 million for that.
Cities and counties that fail to reduce their homeless population could get sued by the state under a proposal the governor’s task force is recommending.
Claim: Charging stations root of deadly boat fire
Ion lithium battery charging stations were behind a fire that killed 34 people aboard a dive boat, attorneys representing families of four victims alleged as part of multiple lawsuits announced Monday.
Attorneys have not been able to look at any evidence of the boat fire because the vessel, owned by a company called Truth Aquatics and operated out of Santa Barbara Harbor, is in the possession of the National Transportation Safety Board. But attorneys say there’s circumstantial evidence that points to the cause being the charging stations located in the galley above the sleeping bunks.
The lawsuits were being filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. They’re being brought by the families of crew member Alexandra “Allie” Kurtz, 26, the only employee who died in the fire; and passengers Yulia Krashennaya, 40; Sanjeeri Deopujari, 31; and Kaustbh Nirmal, 33.
The boat, Conception, was out for a Labor Day weekend diving trip off Santa Cruz Island when a fire broke out before dawn Sept. 2. Of the 39 people on board, only five crew members survived. None who had been below deck made it off.
What else we’re talking about
From wedding dancing to Fox’s reality show “Flirty Dancing,” this 68-year-old Ventura County’s moves may have led him to love.
A 4,000-square-foot Palm Springs home once owned by Kirk Douglas receives historic status.
What the planet’s oldest trees, found in California’s White Mountains, tell us about changing conditions on earth. And why they might survive us.
#OscarsSoWhite and male: One actor of color is nominated across 20 acting categories along with an all-male slate of directors in 2020’s Academy Award nominees.
- JLo, De Niro, Awkwafina, Frozen II and other Oscar snubs.
- Check out the full list of nominees.
All the housing, or another dead-end bill?
California has a shortage of 3.5 million homes and tops the nation in homelessness. Scott Wiener believes he has the answer.
The state senator has spent two years pushing legislation to require cities to zone for taller, denser housing near rail and bus stations and tri- and four-plexes in “jobs-rich” areas, including suburban neighborhoods full of detached single-family homes.
Building new units near public transit and jobs, he argues, will lower rents, reduce traffic and in turn, cut down on the greenhouse gasses emitted by the cars Californians use on their commutes The San Francisco Democrat hopes this time around — the last two years his attempts have gone nowhere — there’s enough flexibility to make Senate Bill 50 (aka California More HOMES Act) happen.
There are a lot of reasons California’s housing shortage is so severe, but local zoning regulations fueled by NIMBYs opposed to new housing top the list.
Can I make this more useful for you? I’m all ears. Email me email@example.com or reach me on Twitter.
In California is a roundup of news from across USA TODAY Network newsrooms. Also contributing: New Yorker, The Atlantic.