Charles Thorpe et al to Yudof (01/26/12)

An Open Letter to the UC Regents,

When the Board of Regents met at UC Riverside last Thursday (January 19, 2012), police officers engaged in violence against students and staff members who had gathered to protest. News reports and video footage document officers jabbing protesters with batons and firing projectiles. This follows outcry within the UC community, across the United States, and internationally about police violence toward protesters at UC Berkeley on November 9 and UC Davis on November 18. We, the undersigned faculty of the University of California, San Diego, believe that the use of violence against students and staff exercising their right to peaceful protest is entirely unacceptable. Such use of force by police against peaceful protesters runs directly counter to values of reason, dialogue, and free expression that are basic to the very idea of the university as an institution. We therefore call on the Board of Regents to publicly condemn the use of violent tactics in the policing of campus protest.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Charles Thorpe, Sociology
Professor Morana Alac, Communciation
Professor Lisa Cartwright, Communication
Professor Ivan Evans, Sociology (President, UC San Diego Faculty Association)
Professor Martha Lampland, Sociology
Professor Chandra Mukerji, Communication
Professor Luis Martin-Cabrera, Literature
Professor Ross Frank, Ethnic Studies
Professor Wm. Arctander O’Brien, Literature
Alanna Aiko Moore, Subject Librarian, Social Sciences and Humanities Library
Professor Roshanak Kheshti, Ethnic Studies
Professor Christian Wuthrich, Philosophy
Professor Tara Knight, Theatre
Professor Stefan Tanaka, History
Professor Brian Goldfarb, Communication
Professor Zeinabu Davis, Literature
Professor John Blanco, Literature
Professor Stephanie Jed, Literature
Professor Robert Horwitz, Communication
Professor Valerie Hartouni, Communication
Professor Nitin Govil, Communication
Professor Patrick Anderson, Communication
Professor Guillermo Algaze, Anthropology
Professor April Linton, Sociology
Professor Marcel Henaff, Literature
Professor Kelly Gates, Communication
Professor Isaac Martin, Sociology
Professor Nancy Caciola, History
Professor Anna Joy Springer, Literature
Professor Nina Zhiri, Literature
Professor Rosaura Sanchez, Literature
Professor Lisa Lowe, Literature
Professor Rebecca Klatch, Sociology
Dr. Beatrice Pita, Literature
Harrod Suarez, Lecturer, Ethnic Studies
Professor Jann Pasler, Music
Professor Anya S. Gallaccio, Visual Arts
Professor Robert Westman, History
Professor Jin-Kyung Lee, Literature
Professor Gerald Doppelt, Philosophy
Professor Rachel Klein, History
Professor Fred Lonidier, Visual Arts (President, UC-AFT Local 2034)
Professor Ricardo Dominguez, Visual Arts
Professor Kartik Seshadri, Music
Professor Louis Hock, Visual Arts
Professor Adam Burgasser, Physics

OCCUPY EVERYTHING: Public Schools_Special Needs

I spoke recently with friends Holly Unruh (UCSB) and Aimee Harlib (UCSD) two amazing women who are currently in the University of California system while navigating CA Public Education and Services for their children. My desire was to link their struggles across these institutions visibly with their day to day life.

They’re used to being admired or treated as other in decidedly less supportive ways. But what do our public educational systems provide in the way of inclusion and reliability?

So my question to them now is: as student parents with special needs kids in public school how do you work with others? Thinking concretely here. How many hours, with whom and in what role?

Short answer: 1 social worker, 1 specialist from the First 5 CATCH program, 1 therapist from a private non-profit, CALM through their HOPE program, 2 separate sets of teachers at the children’s center our boys attend, and the center’s educational specialist, when there is funding to fill that position.

We get about 2 hours a week of special services in the classroom and at home and the center assigns an additional aide to our older boy’s classroom (for him and other high needs kids in that class).

We recap weekly with the therapist and daily with teachers. To date most compensation for these services has come through medi-cal. There seems to be some confusion as to how health insurers might pay for/offer any of these services.

Current Services (weekly):
Compensated  through San Diego Regional Center:

-We receive in home Applied Behavioral Therapy (parent lead) two days a week/two hours a session (we just dropped from five days a week this month), we also receive four hours a month of one-on-one consultation with a supervisor from the same ABA provider (A.C.E.S.).

-Respite Care: (4hour increments), 16 hours/month-we use the same nanny but have access to a database (college nannies and tutors).

Compensated through San Diego Unified School District:
Jackson is in the SEEK Program (special education) he attends 4 days a week/4hours.  In this program, on the same campus as his typical pre-school program, he receives: Speech therapy (2 hours/week); Adaptive PE (1hour/week); Occupational Therapy (2 hours/week) as well as an academic program all based on the goals in his IEP. His primary teacher makes a home visit once a month with updates, etc.

Provided/compensated State Services:

Head-Start State Pre-school (Mon-Fri), this typical pre-school is actually better than the UCSD private pre-school, The UCSD Early Childcare Education Center let us go after they were unable to accommodate Jackson in August of 2010 (illegally).

Healthy Families: medical/dental services, provided through the state of California

Jackson will turn five in June of this year, he was diagnosed on the
Autism spectrum a few months before his third birthday (March, 2009) but I attempted to find resources and some sort of diagnosis for approximately eight months prior to that date.  We began with a referral to CP3 (not sure what the acronym stands for but it is an under three program), which I believe is a division of California’s First Five program.

We had an in home assessment and met with an occupational therapist (this was November, 2008).  After his diagnosis we were referred to San Diego Regional Center and had difficulties receiving services due to a horrible coordinator but, after we switched to our current coordinator, it has been easy to find services within our access (Regional Center has had numerous and devastating budget cuts over the last couple of years).

I am highly involved in Jackson’s care, as most parents of children with special needs are. Outside of his pre-school environment and respite care, most of his services are parent lead:meaning – I am present and running the program. I am updated on a daily basis by his pre-school teachers both in his inclusion program and special education class.

It is difficult to breakdown Jackson’s services because most areas of his care are provided in teams (other than the Respite Nanny). Although I regard the individuals of the team as part of our family,
as Jackson grows older the services decrease.

We are in the process of paring back all of our services in preparation for this. We are low-income, so all of our services are provided through either State Programs or our school district. Many services are provided for children under five in California, after five I believe it is difficult to find access.

I am sure that I am leaving a great amount of information out, but at least this is a start.


Brown Cuts UC Budget by 500 Million

From Jerry Brown’s Website:

Governor Jerry Brown will release a balanced state budget today that slashes spending by $12.5 billion, including an eight to 10 percent cut in take-home pay for most state employees, and proposes a “vast and historic” restructuring of government operations…

Major spending reductions include $1.7 billion to Medi-Cal, $1.5 billion to California’s welfare-to-work program (CalWORKs), $750 million to the Department of Developmental Services, $500 million to the University of California, $500 million to California State University, and $308 million for a 10 percent reduction in take-home pay for state employees not currently covered under collective bargaining agreements. Brown also plans to trim state government operations by $200 million through a variety of actions, including reorganizations, consolidations and other efficiencies.


austere moonbeams: 12.5 billion cuts

‘Here it comes. Much worse than “the suede denim secret police.” Can we make it French like Puerto Rico? Or Greek like London? ‘-Jasper Bernes

The only sectors to avoid cuts were K- 12 education and the state’s prison system. Calling for a “vast and historic” reworking of state government finances, Gov. Jerry Brown Monday said he would release a $127.4 billion state budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year that includes dramatic spending cuts of $12.5 billion – including as much as a 10 percent cut in take-home pay for some state employees.

Brown also is counting on voters to approve an extension of taxes that are set to expire this year to prevent even deeper cuts. He said that even though voters rejected taxes in 2009, he believes it’s time for voters to reconsider the issue.

“It’s a divisive issue,” he said. “I think there is a significant number of people who have an open mind and it will be up to the Legislature and myself and the business community and citizen groups and parent teacher associations to make the case.”

His budget plan makes deep cuts to the University of California, California State University and California Community Colleges while protecting funding for kindergarten through 12th grade education.

At a news conference this morning, he said that K-12 education has “borne the brunt of spending reductions,” in recent years and that “in this budget we keep them at current level of spending.”

The governor’s budget includes total spending of $127.4 billion for the 2011-12 fiscal year – including $84.6 billion for the state general fund. But his office said the budget calls for $12.5 billion in spending cuts, $12 billion in modifications and extending taxes that are set to expire this year, $1.9 billion in other solutions to close the gap while providing for a $1 billion “rainy day” reserve.

Among Brown’s proposals:

— Eliminating redevelopment agencies throughout the state and eliminating tax benefits for enterprise zones – moves that would “return billions in property tax revenues to schools, cities and counties and help pay for public safety, education and other services,” the governor said.

— Cutting $1.7 billion to Medi-Cal

— Cutting $1.5 billion to California’s welfare-to-work program, also known as CalWORKs

— Cutting $750 million from the Department of Developmental Services

— Cutting $500 million from UC, which now receives about $2 billion a year

— Cutting $500 million from CSU, which now receives about $2 billion a year

— Cutting $400 million from community colleges

— Cutting 10 percent in take-home pay for about 57,000 state employees who are not currently covered under collective bargaining agreements. This move would save about $308 million

Brown warned that the budget will be painful, and require individuals and businesses to sacrifice.

“It’s time to restore California to fiscal solvency and put California back on the road to economic recovery and jobs,” he said. “We are going to return decisions and authority as much as possible to cities and counties and schools, and that way there will be greater accountability and transparency and hopefully citizen participation.”

The governor said he would cut state government operations by $200 million through a variety of actions, including “reorganizations, consolidations and other efficiencies.”

“These cuts will be painful, requiring sacrifice from every sector of the state, but we have no choice,” Brown said in a statement. “For 10 years, we’ve had budget gimmicks and tricks that pushed us deep into debt. We must now return California to fiscal responsibility and get our state on the road to economic recovery and job growth.”

Brown’s budget proposal includes a plan for what he called a “five year extension of several current taxes” to allow the state to pay off and restructure debt “in an orderly fashion,” and it also calls for the consolidation and elimination of some state functions.

He said if voters don’t approve taxes extensions, then deeper cuts would be required.

“If somebody has better ideas, I’d like to hear about them,” he said. “We’ve made some drastic cuts and to do more is going to impair the quality of public service.”

He said he wants the Legislature to put the tax extensions on the ballot, which would require a two-thirds vote by lawmakers.

“I’ve met with Republicans and they are not locked in stone in opposition… I think we’ll get some Republican votes. They’re not going to be ready today,” he said.

Brown’s office said the proposed spending plan will put $1 billion into a “rainy day” reserve fund, and promises to erase California’s budget deficit “now and into the future.”

The governor, in his statement, argued his realignment plan returns more power and decision-making authority to cities, counties and schools districts at the local level while allowing government “to focus on core functions and become more efficient and less expensive” by reducing duplication of services and administrative costs.

Budget posted online at


October 7 – Virtual Sit-In (UPDATE)


Go to the following link to directly join the virtual sit-in:

or to host a mirror site follow the instructions below.



In solidarity with the October 7th Day of Action for Public Education we call for a virtual sit-in of the websites of the Office of the President of the University of California and the UC Regents. This virtual sit-in will take place for all of October 7th, from 12:00AM the night before to 11:59PM the night of.

Download the attached file and help this action happen by hosting it on your server. Or just use it locally on your computer for all of October 7th.

Because wordpress doesn’t allow tgz files, download this pdf and rename it to tgz, then extract it to get the files.