David Washburn covered school climate and discipline issues for EdSource.
He’s been practicing the art and craft of journalism for 25 years, most recently in the nonprofit sphere as editor of Voice of OC and reporter/editor at Voice of San Diego. He spent eight years as an enterprise/investigative reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune. His work included award-winning stories on financial elder abuse, lack of oversight of contractors in Iraq, San Diego’s high rate officer-involved shootings and mismanagement at the San Diego Red Cross. Early in his career he worked as a researcher for Dateline NBC. He has a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Missouri.
All articles by David Washburn
Budget realities challenging California school districts’ restorative justice programs
As districts have worked to reduce suspensions and expulsions, they’ve increasingly turned to restorative justice as an alternative.
July 1, 2019
Rural California school district with high suspension rates under state investigation
Butte County’s Oroville City Elementary School District, which has a suspension rate that is three times the statewide average, is being investigated by the state Bureau of Children's Justice.
June 11, 2019
Lost Days: Inside one rural California district’s effort to combat chronic absenteeism
In Paradise Unified, where the chronic absenteeism rate is 18 percent, Dena Kapsalis does what it takes to get students to come to school.
May 31, 2019
Lost days: Poverty, isolation drive students away from school in California's rural districts
Students who miss at least 10 percent of the school year are chronically absent and in danger of dropping out. It’s a statewide problem most acute in rural areas.
May 30, 2019
California approves new guidance for teaching sex education
The sex education recommendations are part of the state's overall health education framework approved by the board and have generated fierce opposition from conservative religious groups.
May 9, 2019
Conservative religious groups targeting California’s sex education guidance
With the State Board of Education set to vote on new teaching guidelines, groups have launched an aggressive effort to remove recommendations focused on LGBTQ inclusiveness and others they deem too explicit for young students.
May 6, 2019
As a candidate for president, Harris taking a softer stance on truancy than she did as a prosecutor
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris championed tough-on-truancy laws while serving as San Francisco’s district attorney and California attorney general. Now she's taking heat for it on the campaign trail.
April 19, 2019
Q&A: California’s first-ever surgeon general on her plans to tackle toxic stress in children
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, a pediatrician who Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed in January, is recognized as a pioneer in the study of how adverse childhood experiences affect brain development and life-long health.
March 27, 2019
Schools lack a clear view of Asian and Pacific Islander discipline disparities, study finds
The study found that students from Southeast Asian countries, like Vietnam and Cambodia, had suspension and expulsion rates that were 2 to 3 times higher than those from China, Japan and other East Asian countries.
March 24, 2019
Charities disavow links to mastermind of college bribery scheme despite online claims
Leaders of youth-serving organizations in California and elsewhere said William Singer, who pleaded guilty to orchestrating an elaborate fraud to skirt admission standards at elite universities, falsely claimed to be partnering with them to help low-income children go to college.
March 14, 2019
Many California schools have police but no counselors, ACLU report finds
The report used federal data to make the argument that schoolchildren in America are over-policed and under-supported by health and mental health professionals.
March 10, 2019
Renewed push underway to expand California's ban on some suspensions
A new bill proposed by state Sen. Nancy Skinner would ban out-of-school suspensions in all grades for student behavior deemed “defiant and disruptive” by school authorities. Advocates hopeful Gov. Newsom will be more receptive than Jerry Brown, who vetoed two previous bills.
February 27, 2019
Even when districts want more school nurses, they have trouble finding them
Striking teachers have forced California districts to address student-to-nurse ratios that are among the worst in the nation. But they have to compete with the higher-paying private sector in the midst of an overall shortage of nurses.
February 24, 2019
Acclaimed restorative justice program on the chopping block in Oakland Unified
Students and advocates are loudly protesting a plan to significantly cut staff from the popular initiative, which emphasizes alternatives to punitive discipline approaches like suspension and expulsion.
February 12, 2019
Kamala Harris’s stance on truancy resurfaces as she launches presidential campaign
A 2010 video clip of California senator and presidential hopeful Kamala Harris advocating the prosecution of parents for their children's truancy has re-ignited controversy as schools statewide face greater scrutiny for their rates of chronic absenteeism.