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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 later in the day.

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 a 4-1 margin. The passing resolution was devised by board members Consuelo Lara and Valerie Cuevas and was first presented at a meeting earlier this…

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.

At the Day of Learning, museum visitors reflect on Richmond’s Jewish history

Although she has been living in Richmond for about 20 years, Margaret Lee had not been aware of the mark her fellow members of the Jewish community have left on the city. In fact, attending last week’s “Day of Learning” at the Richmond Museum of History, a gathering commemorating the Holocaust, was the first time she had engaged with the stories of other local Jewish people, she said. The gathering was one of the events held in conjunction with the…

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 about their effect on school climate. Several members of the Richmond Police Department—Chief Allwyn Brown, Sergeant Lynette Parker and Officer Joseph England—explained the role of…

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.

‘We’re school shopping for mediocre:’ Richmond’s students and parents try to navigate a ‘broken’ education system

Seventeen-year-old Phillip Poe starts his days early. He gets up at 5:45 a.m. so that he can catch a ride to BART with a family member. Then he takes a train to catch a bus, arriving at school just before 8 a.m. His days end late, too. He often doesn’t return until 10 p.m., sometimes taking a long bus ride home after evening varsity basketball practice. After finishing homework, he gets to bed by midnight, catching less than six hours…

Richmond teachers struggle to afford housing on “poverty level” salaries

Diane Maddox sold gold jewelry as a side hustle, just to get by during her 33 years of teaching in Richmond. The single mother raised her two daughters in an apartment above a garage. It took the 56-year-old Maddox more than two decades until she could finally afford to purchase a home. She currently teaches transitional kindergarten for English learners at Downer Elementary School. “I’m a single parent in the Bay Area, so then trying to make it on one…

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