West Contra Costa schools: Putting the brakes on future spending

03/03/2015 07:30 AM PST
As the West Contra Costa school district spends about $12 million a month on construction projects, a team of new administrators is advising the board, its facilities subcommittee and the independent citizens bond oversight committee to take a break from approving new building and instead take a hard look at priorities and funding. At two meetings this past week, the recently hired associate superintendent for facilities and the bond program delivered a sobering message: There is not enough money left to fulfill promises made to communities when they approved $1.6 billion in bond construction measures. 
New UC tech campus sought in Legislature
03/02/2015 04:00 PM PST - A new UC campus focused on science, technology, engineering and the arts is proposed under a California bill by Assemblyman Mike Gatto. 

UC applications in limbo during Brown-Napolitano standoff
03/02/2015 02:43 PM PST - Arguing that Sacramento has failed to fulfill its fiscal obligations, Napolitano plans to raise tuition 5 percent this fall. Brown has threatened to withhold about $120 million in state funds unless the university keeps tuition and nonresident enrollment flat.  

California court says state can't ban all sex offenders from living near schools and parks
03/03/2015 06:59 AM PST - California's Supreme Court ruled Monday the state cannot prohibit all registered sex offenders in San Diego County from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park.  

UC Santa Cruz LGBTQ community calls for change after attack on gay student
03/02/2015 11:57 AM PST - Members of the UC Santa Cruz lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community launched a petition demanding the university enact changes in the wake of an attack on a gay student thought to be a hate crime by police. 

Oakland: Classmates, friends, family grieve for slain 14-year-old Davon Ellis
03/02/2015 04:40 PM PST - Davon Ellis, a student at Oakland Technical High School, was fatally shot Saturday night while walking with friends in the Fruitvale district. 

Santa Clara University: Budding entrepreneurs develop ideas at Startup Weekend
02/28/2015 03:36 PM PST - Budding entrepreneurs think they're on to something at an entrepreneurship event dubbed Startup Weekend at Santa Clara University. 

San Jose: A competition where being blind is cool
03/02/2015 01:41 PM PST - About 100 people gathered at the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center for one of more than 40 run-ups to a national contest in Braille reading and typing. The 27 contestants from Humboldt to Monterey counties tested their skills in a setting where being blind or visually impaired was all the norm. 

Benicia group brings out the electronic tinkerer in all of us
02/27/2015 11:31 PM PST - Benicia Makerspace is just one of several Makerspace groups that are trying to bring back the era and spirit of building, tinkering and hacking items into something new and interesting. They will be hosting the first Benicia Mini Maker Faire on March 28. 

West Contra Costa district staff survey shows room for improvement
02/27/2015 08:12 PM PST - A 2014 survey of nearly 1,000 West Contra Costa staff members shows most employees get a sense of accomplishment from their work and understand their job expectations, but less than 40 percent believe their supervisors deal effectively with those who need improvement or that the district's communications are accurate, timely and useful. There was wide disagreement about whether administrators, teachers and support staff follow rules for dealing with students fairly and effectively. 

Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, who transformed University of Notre Dame, dies at 97
02/27/2015 07:26 AM PST - Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, a former president of University of Notre Dame who was credited for transforming the school, has died at the age of 97.  

Startup Weekend features 60-second sales pitches by middle school and college students
02/27/2015 06:48 AM PST - Startup Weekend events will feature competitions at Santa Clara University and Mountain View's Crittenden Middle School. 

Albany Middle School students sickened by prescription pills home from hospital
02/27/2015 06:41 AM PST - Students at Albany Middle School at 1259 Brighton Ave. who took prescription pills that made them sick were home from the hospital recovering Thursday. "I am relieved to notify our school community that Debora 

Hayward schools losing ex-state senator Corbett
02/27/2015 06:28 AM PST - Ellen Corbett leaving Hayward post to take state commission job 

Student sexually battered on UC Berkeley campus
02/27/2015 06:23 AM PST - A man sexually battered a 22-year-old student Wednesday on the campus of University of California at Berkeley, university police said Thursday.  

Virtual charter school network making profit at the expense of California schoolchildren, study finds
02/27/2015 06:27 AM PST - A national for-profit charter school company, K12, receives millions of California tax dollars while schoolchildren go without working computers and software, study finds. 

West County schools budget update outlines difficult choices
03/01/2015 04:36 PM PST - "Things are looking very, very austere," said school board President Todd Groves, who attributed the downward budget projections to a loss of income from students switching to charter schools and the cost of Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to bail out the State Teachers Retirement System, among other factors.  

Walnut Creek school boundary changes prompt pushback
02/26/2015 03:50 PM PST - Petition, signed by more than 400, asks that students not be moved repeatedly 

Albany: At least five middle school students hospitalized after ingesting pills
02/26/2015 07:00 AM PST - At least five Albany Middle School students were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after they reportedly ingested pills and got sick at the school at 1259 Brighton Ave. 

Union City: Teachers talks at impasse, sides go to mediation
02/26/2015 06:26 AM PST - The state's Public Relations Employment Board assigned both sides a mediator after they declared a negotiating impasse. The next session is scheduled March 12.