Valley Public Radio FM89 - Live Audio

On Valley Edition: ADA Lawsuits; Education Budget Cuts

Jul 19, 2011

Segment 1: Disability access lawsuits hit local businesses
Over 20 years after the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, compliance with the law's requirement of equal access remains controversial. Recently, it's pitted business customers with business owners, resulting in dozens of lawsuits. Reporter Shellie Branco brings us this report on both sides of the access issue.

Segment 2: Budget cuts impact local K-12 Schools
Last month, when California lawmakers passed a new state budget, they also passed a bill prohibiting local school districts from laying off teachers. Backers, including the California Teachers Association, say that the law protects students from class size increases and will save teacher jobs. School districts say it ties their hands, especially with the prospect of a midyear $1.5 billion funding cut if revenues fall short of projections. Host Juanita Stevenson reports on the story of one Fresno Unified teacher who has already lost her job, and the financial challenges still facing local districts. Guests Larry Powell, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools; Christine Lizardi Frazier, Kern County Superintendent of Schools; and Jesse Aguilar, a classroom teacher at East Bakersfield High School join host Jaunita Stevenson for this discussion.

Segment 3: Arte Americas
The Fresno based Latino arts non-profit Arte Américas is part of a vibrant arts scene in the Central Valley. Arte Américas board member Gloria Verdugo joins host Juanita Stevenson to talk about the "Nights in the Plaza" concert series and other activities at the center.