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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (Erik Lesser / European Pressphoto Agency)

In April, California’s top education officials breathed a sigh of relief. After months of debate and back-and-forth with Betsy DeVos’ staff, they had finalized a plan to satisfy a major education law that aims to make sure all students get a decent education.

The state focused on aligning its plan to fulfill the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act with California’s Local Control Funding Formula, which gives extra money to districts to help students who come from low-income families, are in the foster system or are English learners.

But this week, DeVos’ team said not so fast. 

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California politics news feed

Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), shown last year, spoke angrily Monday about being recalled on June 5.

Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), shown last year, spoke angrily Monday about being recalled on June 5. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Just days after voters acted to recall him from office, state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) on Monday condemned Republican members of the Senate in an angry floor speech for what he said was their failure to stand up against a deceptive campaign by GOP operatives to oust him from office.

Newman said the campaign got voters to sign the recall petitions by saying it would repeal a gas-tax increase and they unfairly blamed him for the tax, even though many others, including a Republican senator, voted for the measure.

“It saddens me colleagues, Republican colleagues, that despite all your nice sotto voce words, not a single one of you had the integrity, the decency or the courage  to say this is wrong… this is an abuse of the recall process,” Newman said in a speech toward the close of the day’s session.

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California primary live updates

California’s much discussed top-two primary election is happening today, and it could lay the groundwork for Democrats to take back the U.S. House. Or not. 

The way it works is pretty simple: Instead of separate party primaries, all the candidates are on one ballot, and the top two vote getters advance to the November general election, no matter their party affiliation. That means two candidates from the same party can — and sometimes do — end up as the only candidates in the general election.

Don’t call it a jungle primary — that’s in Louisiana. And when the two finalists in each race advance to November’s general election, don’t call it a runoff: No one can win outright Tuesday, even if they get more than 50% of the vote.

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