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West County leads the state in pushing for a moratorium on new charter schools

In December, the DeJean Middle School multipurpose room brimmed with onlookers—community leaders, public officials, parents and students—who cheered wildly as Stephanie Hernández-Jarvis and Consuelo Lara took their new seats on the West Contra Costa Unified Board of Education. The two newcomers had arrived ready and confident. The celebration was a pleasant, gratifying end to their campaigns, and they were prepared to make the hard-fought decisions of public office, including one that day: Whether to re-approve the charter of Benito Juarez…

Tales of Two Cities: Locked Up

Welcome back to the Tales of Two Cities podcast!  This episode is about being locked up. This week we’ll meet formerly incarcerated people who share their experiences behind bars and also learn about the ways they’re getting their lives back on track after their release. We’ll also look at a different kind of lock up as we hear about animals who are affected by isolation and confinement. We will follow rodent-trapping researchers in an effort to study mammals and also…

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.”

Richmond Art Center showcases the work of the Social Justice Sewing Academy

Bright, colorful quilts adorned the hallways of the Richmond Art center last Saturday. It quickly became clear that the meticulously crafted works of art carry meaning in every thread. A quilt embroidered with the image of a police officer choking a black person includes the stitched phrase ”I can’t breathe” on his face. Above the officer’s head hovers the question: Protect and Serve? The quilts are part of an exhibit titled “Empowering Threads: Quilts from the Social Justice Sewing Academy.”…

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.

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