News about Education

State Approves UC Merced Expansion

Feb 17, 2016
University of California, Merced

The University of California has received the go-ahead from the Brown administration for a billion dollar expansion of its Merced campus. The Department of Finance approved the project today. Ben Bradford reports from Sacramento.

The University of California plans to add 10,000 undergraduates to its campuses in the next three years. As a key part of that, the UC Merced campus would double in size and expand from its current 6,700 students to an even 10,000. To pay for it, UC system chief financial officer Nathan Brostrom says the university is turning to a new funding model.

Courtesy of Emma Sledd /

In January, teenage boys in the Central Valley city of Clovis showed up to school in dresses and girls wore pants as well as caps to hide their hair. They were protesting Clovis Unified's decision to keep it's controversial out-of-date dress code.

The dress code doesn't allow boys to wear earrings or to keep their hair below their earlobes. The proposed update would give the same standards for all students, but Clovis Unified School District trustees voted  4-3 against the policy update.  

Kerry Klein

It’s Sunday morning in downtown Fresno, and a classroom full of 10-year olds is about to meet an important visitor: a 2-foot-tall, red and white robot.

“Hello, my name is NAO,” says the robot, standing up on a table.

He looks like a mix between a Transformer and a Power Ranger: big head, square shoulders, and what looks like thick gloves and boots. He can wave his arms, walk, dance, and blink his eyes—just like a tiny human.

“I can recognize your face, answer questions, and even play soccer like a pro,” he continues.

Teachers in the Fresno Unified School District say they’re growing increasingly concerned about their safety in the classroom. FM89’s Jason Scott reports they held a press conference Wednesday to ask the district to do more to improve classroom discipline.  

Several teachers at Bullard High School have signed a petition that asks Fresno Unified leaders to implement a new student discipline policy that better defines consequences for offenses.

Police: UC Merced Stabbings Not Terrorism

Nov 5, 2015

UPDATE: 6:22 PM - Authorities say they now know what prompted UC Merced student Faisal Mohammad to go on a stabbing rampage Wednesday, leaving four others injured. 

According to Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke, a manifesto found on Mohammad's body during the autopsy indicates he was upset at fellow students after being kicked out of a campus study group. The manifesto contained the names of intended victims and a detailed, minute-by-minute account of his planned attack. 

Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

UPDATED: 5:56 PM - FM89's Diana Aguilera reports on what law enforcement officials know about the suspect.

Fresno State / Official Facebook Account

Nov. 2, 6:40 PM - Fresno State officials say that police have taken a student into custody after learning about a social media shooting threat at the university.  

Around 2 p.m. police arrested Christian Pryo on a charge of terrorist threat, in conjunction with a social media posting.  The 18-year-old freshman from Los Angeles is a Fresno State football player. He was booked into the Fresno County Jail. FM89’s Ezra David Romero has more.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

New data from researchers at UC Davis and Fresno State present a disturbing picture about disconnected youth in Central California. As many as 17 percent of valley teens are either not in school and don't have a job. That's more than double the statewide average of 8.2 percent. Left unaddressed, the disconnect could worsen the valley's poverty problem and contribute to other social ailments from crime to health issues. 

Jeffrey Hess / Valley Public Radio

Pressure on the Fresno Unified School District's superintendent continues to mount. Valley Public Radio's Jeffrey Hess reports the Fresno Teacher's Association is calling for three top district employees to be put on leave pending a federal investigation.

The FTA says the investigation into the district's use of no-bid contracts has overshadowed administrators ability to run the district.

File Photo

The head of the Fresno Unified School District is coming under fire after claims that he instructed his staff use a cell phone app that sends messages without leaving any trace. That practice could raise ethical and legal problems for district superintendent Michael Hanson.

Journalist Mark Arax was the first to report that Hanson allegedly used the Cyber Dust app which claims it leaves no record of any of the messages sent or received.