Edward Booth

Graduate tutors still threatened by school district budget cuts

Graduate tutors appeared in force at the meeting alongside officers from the Teamsters 856, who represent unclassified (or non-teaching) employees. “We’re here, we’re devoted, we’re intelligent, we’re amazing,” said tutor Marsha Williamson. “You will never find people like us to help the children in this district ever again.”

City council votes to not annex North Richmond

On Tuesday, the Richmond City Council voted to not proceed with annexing the unincorporated area of North Richmond, with only Mayor Tom Butt voting in favor. Additionally, Butt removed three proposed appointments to the Citizens Police Review Commission from the agenda—one of them highly controversial. Until the appointments are finalized, it leaves the commission to…

A final trustee-area map emerges as lawsuit resolves

The map, known as the January Map, was agreed upon in a 4-0-1 vote by the board in a closed session meeting on February 28, with board member Mister Phillips abstaining.The map was designed through negotiations between the district and Ruiz-Lozito. Both sides considered prior public feedback, represented in the map chosen in November. The January Map was approved by a Contra Costa County Superior judge on Wednesday, and further details of the settlement were presented at a board meeting...

School board passes resolution asking for a state moratorium on charter schools

On Wednesday, the West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Education passed a resolution calling upon the state to establish a moratorium on charter school expansion. The final resolution received widespread support from the public—including former and current city councilmembers, union leaders, teachers and parents—and from most of the board, who passed it with…

Richmond mayor delivers State of the City address

Butt’s roughly hour-long speech, assisted by a data-laden slideshow and a short promotional video, provided a present-day overview of Richmond’s finances, education, public safety, transportation, housing, commercial development, business, economy and environment.

Developers present plans for Point Molate to Richmond City Council

Orton Development, Samuelson Schafer, SunCal, and Point Molate Partners each presented plans, in 20-minute chunks, to both the council and a chamber filled with protesting members of the public. The crowd, many a part of the Point Molate Alliance— a coalition of residents which that seeks to halt development on the site—carried signs, pictures, paintings and an illustrated cloth banner that said “Save Pt. Molate.” Over 30 people spoke during the public comment period to criticize and oppose the proposed...

School board discusses charter school moratorium

The proposed resolution, inspired by several others—including one that passed last month following the teachers strike in the Los Angeles Unified School District—calls for a moratorium on charter school expansion from the California State Board of Education and seeks to establish additional oversight over existing charter schools.

WCCUSD hosts recruitment fair to find teachers

The fair, the first of several this year, attracted over 50 applicants in three hours. Most arrived early, though some filtered in steadily until the event ended at noon. A team of administrators worked to smoothly guide people through the application process, from registration—more than half had appointments, many walked in—to finding the right interviewer among a maze of wooden desks.

Council hears presentation on School Resource Officers and wastewater

On Tuesday, the Richmond City Council heard presentations on wastewater infrastructure and School Resource Officers—or SROs—among other items. SROs, who are full-time police officers stationed at schools, have come under criticism recently in the West Contra Costa Unified School District due to budget constraints and because parents, teachers and other community members have raised questions…

West Contra Costa school board will soon release its trustee-area map after a year of controversy

The journey toward the new voting system in the school district began in 2002, when the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 was enacted, making it easier for minority groups to prove at-large elections dilute their vote. Though most California elections have historically been held at-large, the voting rights act has caused a surge of lawsuits in recent years, either threatened or real, prompting more than 100 school districts and cities to shift to trustee-area elections.

Charter renewed amid school board shift

The charter of Benito Juarez Elementary was renewed by default last Wednesday because of a strange scenario in which incoming board members were unable to vote and one longstanding school board member stepped away from the dais, leaving the decision without enough votes to legally stand. California charter schools must have their charter reapproved every…

School board approves trustee-area map

The final map will divide the district into five separate voting areas, each of which will elect one board member in future elections. This area-based system will replace the current at-large elections where school board winners are determined by a district-wide popular vote.

Stephanie Hernández-Jarvis, School Board Candidate

Stephanie Hernández-Jarvis, a teacher in the West Contra Costa Unified School District, is running for the school board on a platform of improving teacher retention, the school climate and student academic and learning outcomes. Hernández-Jarvis, 27, once an undocumented immigrant, also considers herself a strong advocate for immigrant rights. “It’s not about security for me;…