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Sonoma County parents fight students’ 22-day suspension

Three Sonoma County eighth-grade students who admitted they took a sip from a Pepsi can containing alcohol were barred from campus for more than a month, prompting their parents to say the district’s zero tolerance policy has run amok.

Noreen Evans calls for tax on oil for education, parks

In a replay of earlier battles, state Sen. Noreen Evans is going after Big Oil in California in an attempt to raise money for higher education and state parks.

Most school funding measures in Sonoma County passing

Five of six school funding measures in Sonoma County were in commanding leads Tuesday night with early returns and mail-in ballots tallied.

State’s schools chief to stump for Prop. 30 in Santa Rosa

California Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson will be in Santa Rosa Saturday campaigning for a school funding ballot initiative and speaking to a conference of local school board members. Torlakson will be the keynote speaker at the North Bay School Trustees Fall Symposium sponsored by the Sonoma County Office of Education. Torlakson’s talk on the November ballot initiatives on school funding, scheduled for noon, is open to the public and will include a question-and-answer session.

Stadium update: It may be a compromise, but math still isn’t great

A compromise has been reached in the dispute over $30 million in taxpayer dollars for the new 49ers stadium. But still, it’s a better deal for the NFL. Schools get $7 million. The Niners get the rest.

Cotati-Rohnert Park schools planning parcel tax

The Cotati-Rohnert Park School District is moving forward with plans to put a parcel tax on the June ballot. The five-member board on Wednesday unanimously agreed to ask voters to support a $89-per-parcel tax for five years, a move that officials believe could bring in $5.3 million over that span.

GUEST OPINION: Take a look inside our schools

‘As educators, we ask for your support to help ensure that Sonoma County is a place where families want to raise and educate their children. Join us in the effort to strengthen school funding by supporting the state tax initiative to restore California schools.’

GUEST OPINION: Get practical about dropout rate

The problem of high school dropouts may not be that complicated and might easily be solved — or maybe the numbers can be cut in half — by looking at a few intangibles, says David Sortino, a Graton psychologist and retired teacher. He suggests that schools should increase vocational training opportunities.

GUEST OPINION: Extend taxes to save California education

The governor’s May revision proposes that funding for education remain at 2009 levels for the next two years, but it also includes revenue from the extension of the temporary tax rates. This tax revenue is essential to settling the state’s legal debt obligation to schools.

State schools chief optimistic about education funding

Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction, said Wednesday that without tax and fee extensions, school districts could expect to lose another 10 percent of their budgets.

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