WatchSonoma Watch
SRJC finances improve, but school faces aging staff and buildings

Santa Rosa Junior College faces a series of long term challenges, but the improving economic climate and a growing base of private funding support has poised the institution for continued growth, President Frank Chong told members of the SRJC Foundation during his annual address on the state of the college.

Santa Rosa school board weighs bond measure or tax hike

Santa Rosa City Schools is considering pursuing a bond measure or parcel tax to offset deep cuts from Sacramento in recent years. The school board on Wednesday night discussed what remains in outstanding principal from voter-supported bonds dating back to 1991 and whether local voters would support another round of either taxes or bond repayments.

SRJC to add 500 academic classes

Santa Rosa Junior College announced Friday plans to restore up to 500 classes eliminated by persistent budget cuts, enabling students to earn academic degrees and technical education certificates more quickly.

New state, local laws on the books in 2013

No more smoking at the bus stop in Petaluma. No more hunting bears with dogs. And banks can no longer work with a home owner on a mortgage modification while simultaneously moving toward foreclosing.

Santa Rosa City Schools considers Prop. 30 money

Santa Rosa City Schools is examining the options of reinstating up to three classroom days to the current school year and returning the budgetary reserve to 3 percent in the wake of Proposition 30′s passage last week. Proposition 30 temporarily increases the state sales tax by a quarter-cent and income taxes on the wealthy by 1 to 3 percent, staving off what Gov. Jerry Brown said would have been $4.8 billion in cuts to K-12 education in the current school year.

Sonoma County college leaders hail Prop. 30′s passage

Patrick Maloney, a junior at Sonoma State University, woke up Wednesday morning to a pleasant surprise.
California voters had approved Proposition 30, the statewide tax measure backed by Gov. Jerry Brown to raise about $6 billion a year for education.
For thousands of state university students, it meant money in the bank: specifically a $249 refund of a tuition fee increase they paid this fall.
For Maloney, a 20-year-old political science major from Sacramento, it also was a payoff for a successful campaign to register more than 1,000 SSU students to vote in Tuesday’s election.

GUEST OPINION: Vote yes on Propositions 30 and 38

The California School Boards Association, which represents more than 1,000 school districts, has endorsed Proposition 38 along with Proposition 30. I too support this position because both propositions are good for schools, and they would provide critically needed revenues.

GUEST OPINION: Use vote to halt widening of wealth gap

With the fall elections upon us, Californians are reeling under a weak recovery, enduring both historic levels of income inequality and the most severe fiscal crisis in recent history. To address the crisis we must have some common sense remedies: raise taxes on the wealthy and build a movement for a fair and more equitable tax system.

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.