West Contra Costa Unified is one of the latest California school districts to agree to switch from at-large to by-district elections in 2020. The goal is to have the board reflect the community's diversity.
Senate Bill 126, which was passed in the Senate Feb. 21, would require that California charter school boards comply with the same open meeting, conflict-of-interest and disclosure laws as district school boards, including holding public board meetings, opening records to the public upon request and ensuring board members don’t have a financial interest in contracts on which they vote.
For months the district warned it needed to cut $30 million from its 2019-20 budget. When a plan to cut a lower amount came before them, the board put off a vote amid complaints that members didn't know how the cuts would impact students and schools. About 100 staffers, most from the central office, are slated to lose their jobs.
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.
Oakland teachers voted overwhelmingly to support a strike if their union can't negotiate a new contract.
They rallied Tuesday outside Oakland city hall and won support from the city council which has no authority to settle the contract dispute with the Oakland Unified School District. A strike can not legally occur until after Feb. 15 when a neutral fact-finding report is expected to be issued.