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SCHOOLS NEWS: Pink Slips, Quakes & Secession

By Jackie Burrell
Friday, February 8th, 2008 at 1:32 pm in Schools.

School search ILLUS As California’s coffers take a nose dive, school districts throughout the state have started sharpening their budget axes, says Times reporter Shirley Dang in this morning’s paper. Pittsburg schools are contemplating cuts to sports, psychologists and teachers. Mt. Diablo will cut the equivalent of 300 full-time employees, and the news is no better anywhere else. “This,” says West Contra board prez Karen Pfeiffer, “is the beginning of the bloodletting.”

Wait, there is good news! On Tuesday, Oakland voters overwhelmingly passed a permanent $195 parcel tax to support their public schools – Measure G passed with 78 percent of the vote.

Elsewhere …

San Ramon Valley High suddenly shut down its gym, citing unsettling seismic reports that cast doubt on student and faculty safety in the event of an earthquake.

Bentley School is planning to build a new $12 million middle school next to its current private high school in Lafayette.

And the secession effort in the Mt. Diablo district cleared a key legal hurdle this week when county attorneys accepted Northgate parent Ruth Carver’s petition, signed by the requisite 10 percent of Walnut Creek school district voters. Next step: verification of signatures by the county registrar. Carver, who prefers the term “boundary change” to “secession,” wants to withdraw six schools from the Mt. Diablo school district and move them into the neighboring Walnut Creek elementary and Acalanes High School districts.

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