Officials wrench control of schools from Mexico unions

It looked like a normal first day of school at Patria Libre elementary. Uniformed kids sporting brand-new backpacks with their favorite cartoon characters – Dora the Explorer, Hello Kitty, the “Frozen” heroines – reunited with classmates and sang the national anthem.

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In UC Merced's first 10 years, the once-fledgling campus has gone from a few buildings near a cow pasture to about 1 million square feet of classrooms, research laboratories, offices and student housing. (Thaddeus Miller/

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