In CA: Not every school needs to stay away from in-person teaching, state’s education chief says

A judge blocks plans to convert two private prisons to an immigration detention facility. And the state tightens rules on regulator-oil industry relationships. Plus: Just because huge school districts are doing it doesn’t mean little ones have to do it too, the state’s superintendent says about reopening in some areas.

It’s Arlene with Wednesday’s news to know.

Judge blocks prison-to-ICE center conversion plans … for now

McFarland’s elected leaders in April approved The GEO Group’s proposal to convert two 700-bed facilities into annexes for its 400-bed federal immigration detention center in nearby Bakersfield, the Mesa Verde ICE Processing Center. The plan expands GEO’s immigration detention capacity in Kern County by 350%. The modified permits for the facilities were slated to take effect July 15, according to court filings.

But U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining order, barring the city of McFarland from modifying the permits for the two facilities, and preventing The GEO Group from transferring any immigrants into or out of the facilities until he rules on an outside request for a preliminary injunction.

Some schools can ‘safely reopen,’ state education chief says

Teachers, parents and administrators continue to wrestle with the difficult decision of what to do when the new school year starts up, whether it’s in Ventura County or Tulare County.

The Los Angeles and San Diego school districts said earlier this week they’ll start the school year off virtually, while Orange County plans to allow some students to return. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on Wednesday applauded the decisions by L.A. and S.D. not to reopen but said the same rules need not apply in counties with low rates of infection.

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